Leading off the daylog with a few political notes:

- Big fat middle finger to Rep. Michelle Bachmaman, who thinks that if you live in a city bigger than, oh, a few baker's dozen (and who all know the baker), you are anti-american.

Excuse me? Anti-american? I work for the god damn government! In a damn large city! I don't go around calling people out for living in small towns, why attack me?

- McCain linked to voter fraud in 2000, and 2004. You can play the Seven Degrees of John McCain and find douche baggery on all degrees.

Now then, on to me.

Turned 25 on the 16th. Yay for me. Bought a new car. 2001 Jetta 1.8T. Fukin quick. Yes, so fast, it gets no C.

This is all.

In this autumnal season, I've recently had two, wait, three things on my mind. One is the election, naturally. Just got my voter registration approved, now all I need is a State Yellow Card or a New Haven CityCard to vote for Obama and our beloved Once and Future Congresswoman Rosa deLauro...and the other two are more upbeat and personal.

I've gotten involved with the Project Chanology/Anonymous movement, and I've turned into a "House MD"/Hugh Laurie fanatic. And thereby hangs a speculation.

You see, Scientology, for all its bluster, is showing definite signs of having jumped the shark. Laffy Hubbard is dead. Membership is down to less than ten thousand worldwide. The early adopters in the intellectual sphere (Aldous Huxley, William S. Burroughs, and so on) are not only dead, but showing a bit of creakiness as well.(After all, we now know a lot more about drugs, psychology and so on than the two worthies listed above ever dreamed.) Even Aleister Crowley, on whose ideas a great deal of Scientology is based, is borderline mainstream: his books are in print and available in Barnes and Noble, sometimes even sitting tamely on shelves besides New Age fluff books. The main thrust of Scientologists were Baby Boomers/Generation Jones, who joined during the late Seventies and early Eighties when it was still cool to rebel against your parents by chucking your college education (and subsequent entry into corporate America) in favor of Finding Yourself. (Nowadays, everyone's too busy trying to make a living to do anything else.) Many Baby Boomer parents (at first) may well have welcomed their involvement with a non-druggy, well-dressed social service organization, but pretty much everyone's heard just what a fraud they are, and almost no one today would wish to finance an expensive series of courses that don't promise to train for any definite goal outside of its own system. Pretty much all they have going for them nowadays is their celebrity ties and what we see in Scientology's celebrities (with the possible exception of Beck and the Beckhams) are largely Eighties people, particularly several men who have been rumored to be gay.

Now for the House/Hugh Laurie connection? I hear. Well, yes, I've got it, but let's go on.

As of 1981, Hollywood casting theory went that women will not want to see as a romantic lead any man who in real life is flat-out gay, or has portrayed a gay man in any serious way. That is, if I know that X is gay, or percieve X to be gay, I can't somehow insert myself into the fantasy of him responding to me as a woman. Therefore, if you're gay in Hollywood, you're going to be cast in comedy and character parts, or at the very most, roles as a "diversity" token. Back in the old days, of course, this was just Not Discussed, but anyone with as much as a rumored lavender side was inevitably photographed or spoken of doing some kind of manly-man activity as insurance. Nowadays the preferred smokescreen is a highly public marriage and a few much-photographed rugrats, something that Scientology is purported to have supplied to some men, in exchange for their lifelong fealty, threatening exposure if their unspoken contract is breached.

This may have been true a while back, but now is blatant ballocks. David Bowie likes to say that coming out to the press got him more quim than a gynecologist ("They all wanted to convert me."). Iggy Pop, Mick Jagger, even Pete Townshend still have women throwing themselves at them right and left, despite the first and the last of these being totally open to the press about their sexual orientation. But, they're singers, not actors! you might say. OK, how about this: Kiefer Sutherland is pretty much transparently bisexual, has played gay characters openly, and yet no one is doubting him as a "man's man" on 24, or anything else. Anderson Cooper is a gay icon, and I, personally, would have him in a minute. In real life, of course, I've known any number of guys (including The Love of My Life) who've been at least part-time, involved with other men, sometimes quite openly, who've been more than attractive to women, even to quite conventional ones.

And then, there's House, which has introduced the Japanese word "yaoi" to so many people. Yeah, Hugh Laurie is as straight a guy as it gets, AFAIK, although one of the least homophobic I've ever seen, and he is best friends with Stephen Fry, who has the Ellen Degeneres Award for being one the least threatening, and gayest, individuals in history. (And Fry's a geek, too! Yay!) However, mention House and Wilson getting it on, and women will faint readily, as several thousand drawings and fanfictions will attest. (Laurie has said that he's "game" for a gay affair in the show, though he doubted Mr. Leonard, his costar, would accept.) And he's not the only one: the heterosexual parts of "Brideshead Revisited" are as nothing to the first half of the movie, when two scrumptious English fellows carry on like loverbirds. Anderson Cooper-watchers are beginning to make romantic drawings as well, with a doelike Cooper in the arms of various hunky Hispanics, and even Men's Health magazine is advising fellows that "majoring in Latin can only be augmented by a summer in Greek." In short, gay is sexy, yaoi is hot, and women can get just as randy over two guys getting it on (in a nice way) as men do a pair of lesbians.

Which might be the final nail in Scientology's coffin. I'm not naming any names here, but if some of these guys (if they are), decided to come out, as bisexuals at least, they'd get a huge career boost. Chucking the CoS would be an even bigger bombshell, especially if they could leak some of those steamy secrets the SciBorgs have been sitting on. Come out! Come out! Whoever you are!

...and stop feeding Suri honey, OK?

You know, I was just wondering...

If the US is supposed to have the most technologically advanced military in the entire ever of existence, then why, every morning when I read the news, is there another article to the tune of "A U.S. air strike mistakenly hit an Afghan army checkpoint / an Iraqi hospital /A Pakistani village killing 9 / 30 / 84 and wounding many more."

I mean... Do we do it on purpose?

I can almost hear "GOD BLESS AMERICA!! MY HOME, SWEE--" playing in the background as I read these articles.

God Bless America. We are the destroyers of life, liberty, and any possibility of happiness.

I was reading the AP news feed the other day, as is my habit, and I came across yet another article on the agreement that the United States is trying to reach with Iraq to stay beyond the end of the year.

Maybe a little background is in order, since most people don't know what is going on here: The United States is currently in Iraq under UN orders (because, you know, we bullied the UN into giving us orders to be in Iraq). That order expires at the end of this year. For the United States to legally remain in Iraq beyond the end of this year, Iraq must request our presence there. Negotiations for this agreement have been going on over the past year.

The people of Iraq have taken to the streets in the last few weeks to protest against this agreement. It only makes sense, people don't usually like for their lands to be occupied by foreign militaries. You wouldn't like it, and nobody in the world likes it. Foreign occupations, even for the most benevolent of reasons, have a long history of turning into bloodbaths, with the locals getting tired of a foreign army telling them what to do, and that army protecting itself by killing those who oppose it. Which is exactly what most of the violence in Iraq is right now.

The Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, is under great pressure from the United States to make sure this agreement is passed and is doing his best to do so. The agreement must be ratified by the Iraqi parliament before it can take effect. However, a large and influential party within the parliament is opposed to the agreement, as are -- it would seem -- a good portion of the Iraqi people.

All of that background to come to this: In this AP article I was reading, and I have seen a similar sentence to this in similar articles, I found a sentence that read something like this:

"Al-Maliki is concerned that he will face political isolation if he were to push forward with the agreement without the backing of the nation."

Now, let's think about what that really means: Why did the United States quote-unquote invade Iraq? To bring them DEMOCRACY! And, what does Democracy mean to you? Rule of the people. Does a Prime Minister concerned with becoming "politically isolated" if he goes against the will of the people sound like a "Democracy" to you? Oh, hmm... No, it doesn't. Weird, huh?

"Democracy" means something completely different to the leaders of nations than it does to the people of nations. Most people believe that a democracy is meant to be ruled by the will of the people, for the people. And that is very convenient for you to believe, as far as the leaders of nations are concerned. What "Democracy" means to them is, basically, the influencing of the will of the people to accomplish the will of those in power.

If you doubt that, read this again. Or any other similar news story that shows up every day.

Attack of the Pod People

After the last of Heisenberg's brilliant podcasts, I (and many others) felt a deep sadness. The podcasts were always something I looked forward to: it was fun to hear my fellow noders' voices, and I loved to participate in my own ways as well. Recently, Oolong suggested bringing back the podcasts, and I decided to jump in with both feet.

It's going to be hard work, and I don't expect us to match Heizy's quality, or quantity. But we can all have a good time and E2 can have a podcast again. Because this is too much for one noder to handle (with the excption of the aformentioned tireless German), we have started PodPeople

What is PodPeople?
Pod People is a 1983 movie made in Spain. Attempting to cash in on the popularity of E.T.. the Extraterrestrial, the filmmakers brought us a charming little alien, lost on earth. The little fellow is quickly befriended by a little boy with a really irritating voice (as happens in these cases). The whiny child calls the trunk-nosed troll "Trumpy" and has to hide said alien from the adults.

Oh, yeah, you meant the USERGROUP called podpeople. Terribly sorry.

Our usergroup will be directing and producing these podcasts, cajoling others to participate, adding content, and hosting the podcasts as well. We will be having our trial run in about a week, we hope. Podpeople is open to all noders, but you need not belong to the group in order to read for the 'casts.

We are currently pushing to get a Hallowe'en podcast in the next week, so please, hook up your microphone, or go to Radio Shack and get a microphone, record your favourite spooky node, and let me know, we'll put it in!

Any questions? Contact me or Oolong and we'll be happy to help!

Your contributions to this new round of podcasts need not be fancy—just record something you like. Or get a friend, or a fellow noder, and turn a node into a radio play. Or write something for a podcast, that could be fun too. The only thing we ask, is that you get the author's express permission to be reading the node.

I'll be your host for this first one, in the future, we hope to have different hosts for the shows, depending on who steps up to do so. We'll keep you posted on the details!

And I suppose diminutive, trunk-nosed aliens are welcome too, as long as they can read for a podcast.

I'm back working the concession stand again.

The hot dog steamer is dripping like crazy and the deep fryer is smoking pretty bad. Kids are lined up yelling for lattes and croissants but all we have are YooHoos and licorice whips.

Mr. Eckschek is asking for my math assignment from last week and I can't find my drivers license. The league commissioner wants me to spread the mayo around more cause the buns are stale.

Lots of chatter in the stands, some of it ugly. The blue team has this tall black guy pitching strike after strike. The red team has some chick in a parka pinch-hitting. Their base coaches are jumping up and down and yelling, but nobodys on base.

I step out back for a smoke and realize I can't cause my folks are in the stands. Sis's boyfriend pulls up in a Lincoln Continental, dripping oil bad, five guys in suits with him. He passes me something to read in speech class.

I go back inside but its actually into the living room and theres people all over the lawn. I turn the sprinklers on and they scatter but the papers soaked and the want ads fall apart in my hands. The other houses are all empty and I'm alone by a big crack in the street. I can't see the bottom and my wallet falls in.

There's a crescent moon and that damn Mr. Bojangles song is playing from somewhere. I start running but the street goes up and down like crazy and I fall into a snow bank just as a big chunk of ice land in front of me.

I roll over and wake up sweating. I'd slept 15 minutes, maybe.

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