Tuesday, July 29, 2003

"Does this look like a toxic waste dump to you?"

After almost three decades, people have decided to move back into one of America's most notorious ecological disasters, Love Canal. Back in those freewheeling days of the late 70's, the EPA's one clear mission was to make sure that our campgrounds and picnic areas were relatively clean. Then, the mutations began. Children born with three noses, some born with two livers, and at least one child with scapula wings and the ability to transform into a jet fighter(OK, I made that one up). The government was "quick" to evacuate this toxic neighborhood, and about 800 families left Love Canal, never to return. But not everyone chose to leave. Some people decided that leukemia was a long shot and stayed. Now their only neighbors are empty lots and abandoned dreams(not bad, eh?), plus the giant earthen mound that used to be the canal.

Now, new families have moved into the neighborhood, renamed Black Creek Village, and want the rest of the world to just forget that anything bad happened in this little slice of America. A 25th Anniversary tour of the area is scheduled in August, and current residents are up in arms over the outing. What if the children catch wind of this? It's hard for some parents to answer that age-old question, "Daddy, why did we move to a place that will kill me?" Although the area is "cleaned up"(i.e. buried under a mound of dirt), there is still a stigma on this land where rent is surprisingly cheap and the neighborhoods are eerily quiet. Times are tough and land is at a premium. Admittedly, the pictures show an idyllic suburban hamlet. No Batboys or giant ants, not even a ruptured 50 gallon drum poking out of the earth. But looks can be deceiving. Only time will tell if a few hundred tons of soil will prevent the nefarious toxins from seeping into the water supply again and destroying lives. Place your bets, folks. Russian Roulette is just that, a game of chance.

Monday, July 28, 2003

It seems that Chicago has finally got some musical taste. This weekend, Limp Bizkit played opener for Metallica at the Hawthorne race track in Stickney. Fans boo'ed when they came on stage and Fred Durst freaked out, hurling insults and waving his homophobia proudly like a banner that said "You take it up the butt!" Apparently, the tirade so disconcerted the audience that they fell silent. Too bad Durst didn't, as well. He continued to cast his derision on the denizens of Shytown and threatened all within earshot with an ass-whoopin'. After only twenty minutes of music(if you could call it music), the band left the stage, and Durst continued to be a jerk with a microphone backstage until someone took it away from him. Now, is that showmanship, or what?

I think the thing I like best about this article is the seething hatred for Limp Bizkit that oozes from every sentence. I guess this guy really took offence to the verbal reaming Fred gave to Chicago. Why be impartial? It's a review, for Christ's sake. If you were looking for a reason to hate these posers, viola.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Though I had written about the possibility of the "Star Wars Kid" filing suit over his sudden cult status, I didn't think it would actually come to pass. Unfortunately, now a lawsuit is in the works. The parents of Ghyslain Raza, the Quebec teenager who became a celebrity this spring after classmates posted on the Internet a video of him mimicking a Star Wars character, allege that their son was so humiliated by the experience that he had to get psychiatric care. The revelation is made in a lawsuit his parents have filed against the families of four classmates they accuse of maliciously turning their son into an object of mockery. Now, I can understand that children are cruel. I'm sure that Ghyslain was ribbed mercilessly for his amateur portrayal of Darth Maul. But does this constitute a lawsuit against his tormentors? I mean, he is the one who made the video, he is the one who left the tape in the camera, he is the reason he is being mocked. It would be different if somebody had filmed him without his consent, but this is not the case. He made a stupid mistake. Why should anyone else have to pay for that?

This brings us to a very good point, when is your behavior your responsibility? Can society be blamed for the misfortunes that befall us? Should imprudence be rewarded with big money payouts? If this is the case, I'm going to sue every bully who ever picked on me(and there are lots) and rake in the big bucks.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

The City Of The Future

After years of living in the shadow of that city up north, Silicon Valley had finally come into it's own. The US Census Bureau had decided to name our region the San Jose Metro Region, and rightly so. Is it not us who have most of the jobs in the region? Is it not this area that causes the most traffic? We deserve to knock out San Francisco as the #1 city in the area. All they have is a couple of bridges, a decrepit, haunted prison, and some friggin' steep hills. We have...well...I'll get back to you on that, but we are the biggest city in the Bay Area, there is no denying that. So take that, SF! Pretty soon, people will start calling you Frisco again, and we all know how much you hate that.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

"Hoffa's Right Here!"

Somebody else is finally claiming to know where Jimmy Hoffa, the president of the Teamsters' Union from 1957 to 1975, is buried. If you didn't know, Hoffa disappeared in '75 when he was on his way to a meeting with a New Jersey Teamster boss and a mafia capo. This guy claims to not only know where the body is, but also claims to have pulled the trigger. Now, there have to be at least 800 people in this country who have claimed to have had a hand in Mr. Hoffa's disappearance, which is one of the more famous vanishings of the twentieth century. But this guy has got the cops ear because another missing person, unsolved for thirty years, has turned up right where he said it would: under his house. Where will this lead? Will we finally have some closure on this hotly-debated piece of amercian folklore? In a word: no.

I am back to working full hours at my job, and I am thankful for that. Although sleeping in late definitely had it's advantages, there is something more rewarding about actually earning money. Times are tough in the good ol' US of A, but it could be worse. Just look at Australia. I know, nobody talks about the atrocious living conditions in this hard-scrabble region of the southern hemisphere. I, however, am not like nobody(?), I tell it like it is. Take this man's tale of woe. It's obvious that jobs are so hard to come by that the government placement agency would try to whore him out as a female prostitute. Now, those of you with weird sexual fetishes might be turned on by such a proposition, but most men would prefer to work as a male prostitute. You know, servicing women and all that. The life of a female prostitute, or escort, if you're into silly euphemisms, is seedy and desolate. The male prostitute however, or gigolo, lives a life of money and sex, sex and money. Now, how hot is that? I guess such an enticing life is in great demand "down under". Kinda makes you want to review your resume, doesn't it?

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Well, I'm watching the CBS Evening News right now and they just ran a story I feel very close to. It seems that CBS has today received information that US President George "Dubya" Bush knowingly used unconfirmed intelligence about Iraqi Ex-fascist Sadam Hussein buying uranium from Africa. The reason? He wanted to "get the party started" as it were, and facts be damned. I guess Hussein got the whole continent of Africa to sell him plutonium. Or, that must have been what went through Dubya's mind when he relayed this crap to the allegiant Americans. We were in danger, after all, and we didn't want to live in fear for the rest of our lives.

When I heard this story I thought to myself, "Hey! I reported on this weeks ago!" Sure enough, when I went through the archives, I mentions this a couple of times. The first time I mentioned Africa explicitly was this morning, though. This leads me to believe that CBS might be using this blog to find the tough stories that their viewers want to see. You read it here first, now you know where everyone else is getting it. Right here, baby, right here.

Oh yeah!

US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has stated that the war on Iraq wasn't declared over new evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction, but because it saw existing evidence of weapons programs "in a dramatic new light" following the 9/11 attacks. That's funny, I thought they said it was because of new intelligence of WMD. You know, the uranium that Hussein bought from Africa? Oh, yeah. That was "bad" information. But what about the mobile chemical weapons facilities that US Secretary of State Colin Powell showed us pictures of right before the war? That's right, even he didn't believe they showed anything of significance. With all this backpedalling, pretty soon they are going to claim that the war never happened. And most of us will choose to believe that.

And the sheep goes, "baah!"

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Will eating dogshit make you go blind? That is one of the pressing concerns for folks over in Auckland, New Zealand. The city council over there has supported the Sports Turf Institute's report stating that Bowser's fecal presents are a public health concern. "The main health risk is from ingesting faecal coliforms but the most serious potential hazard are parasites, including toxicaria, that can cause blindness in humans," said the institute's scientific manager, Dr Richard Gibbs. And after all those years doctors have been saying eating dog crap was good for you. I smell a class-action suit. Or I may have just stepped in something.

The real pisser of this article is the fact that there is a Sports Turf Institute in the first place. What the hell are they doing over there? I mean, once you have figured out that a freshly mown lawn is more attractive and you aren't supposed to eat dog doo, what do you do with the rest of the day. What kind of a resume do you need to enter the hallowed halls of this institution? I used to mow my parent's lawn for years, could I use the time spent doing this loathsome chore as credits? Seriously, I think New Zealand needs more important issues to deal with, like copulating with farm animals.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

The United States of America has decided to use strong-arm tactics to bully smaller countries into signing an agreement exempting US

troops from prosecution before the new UN international war crimes tribunal. Our fearless Commander In Chief has decided to stop

miltary aid to these countries if they actually vote their mind on this issue. What does this do to the US's international image? What

do you think? It's not like we're really liked anyway these days. But it really says something about the way we act while occupying

foreign lands when we seek to be free of possible prosecution permanently. Clinton signed the treaty for this new war crimes court, but

Dubya decided to nullify it, believing that it would make our troops subject to untrue, politically motivated accusations. Or, more

likely, factually based accusations involving the shooting of innocent civilians or invading countries based on bad or manipulated

intelligence.

The reason Clinton signed the treaty was to prove to the rest of the world that we weren't above the law. Justice comes to us all one

day. I guess Bush feels otherwise. What a great way to celebrate Independence Day, by declaring our independence from responsibility.

Have you ever tried to play music on your telephone to annoy telemarketers?

Here's some basic tunes to get you started.


Mary Had a Little Lamb:

3212333, 222, 399, 3212333322321 or

3212333, 222, 133, 3212333322321

Happy Birthday:

112, 163, 112, 196, 110, 8521, 008, 121

The Butterfly Song:

963, 23621, 3693236236932362, 963, 23621

Frere Jacques:

1231, 1231, 369, 369, 9*9631, 9*9631, 111, 111

Olympic Fanfare:

3-9-91231, 2222-32112312, 3-9-91231, 2222-32112321

Jingle Bells:

333, 333, 39123, 666-663333322329, 333, 333, 39123, 666-6633, 399621


Enjoy, and see if you can play them all in their entirety before they hang up. Makes for a fun game.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Considering my current employment status(read:basically none), I find it interesting that some other professions are harder to be able to get time off. You really have to go to extremes in order to take a day to do errands, or wait for the cable guy. In fact, the supermarket industry is apparently so hard to get time off, you literally have to go nuts in order to get a little of that sweet PTO. An employee of Albertson's in Irvine went all "American Ninja" on his coworkers when he was refused time off. He sliced and diced his way through the store this last Sunday morning, killing 2 and wounding 3 others before being brought down in a hail of gunfire. This man was, of course, sick in the mind. He had claimed to hear voices in his head telling him to do bad things. I know when the voices in my head start acting up, I just scream and sing the "Jetsons" theme until they go away. Maybe he should have taken this same route.

If we take anything from this story, let it be this: If there is a guy at your work who seems a little kooky, chances are he's going to chop you up with a samurai sword. At the very least, he probably masturbates to the thought of it.