Sunday, March 27, 2005

Hoppy Rabbit Day

I deeply apologize for that post title. What can I say? I don't think there exists a valid defense.

Easter was always a fun time when I was a kid...a few days off school, hard-boiled eggs (of which I've always been a big fan), and lots o' chocolate. No religious significance whatsoever, and isn't that how we like it?

I have no point really, except to note again: it is Easter. And I exist. I could get hit by a bus and this weblog would sit here indefinitely and you'd never know. Something like that's got to have actually happened at some point, doesn't it? I wanted to work in some sort of resurrection thing here, but I just don't have the time or inclination. That's why I'm lousy at blogging...I just don't have the will. There's very little I wanted to say that hasn't been said better elsewhere. Whatever. That's all.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

"You said you wanted some space...well is this enough for you?"

So apparently yahoo mail is upping it's capacity to a gig, in response to gmail. Haw...when I first got an account it was something like twenty megs. I met they're pretty annoyed with google for forcing them to do that to keep up. Of course, now pretty much all the cache associated with having a gmail account is gone. Nonetheless, when the page offered to give me one, I took them up on it. here. I figured it would not hurt, professionally, to have an account without a wacky, novelty name. Yup, that's about it.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Man, is this Terry Schiavo thing sickening, or what? I mean, I knew that Our Friends to the Right were not very scrupulous people, but it's difficult to imagine another situation so singularly grotesque as this one. They really are absolutely amoral, aren't they? I mean, I know it's seemed that way before, but this makes an exquisite coup de grâce. They will do literally anything to cement their power, explicitly and emphatically including necrophilia. There are times when I think, hmm, this doesn't quite add up: how is it possible that I am right about everything and they are wrong? I mean, what are the chances that MY beliefs should just happen to perfectly dovetail with reality? But then I see things like this, and I think, well, come on, how hard IS it to choose the moral high road when THESE guys are representing the other side? I mean, if, say, God came down and informed me that my taste in music, literature, or videogames sucked, I would be willing to concede the point. If he came down and told me that the republicans were his chosen party--well, then I'd have to call bullshit and pull off his mask. And if it turned out he really WAS God--well, an eternity in the ol' pit o' fire seems a small price to pay. I want nothing to do with a cosmology in which the gop is ascendant.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Mother of Jesus I feel pretty ill


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Be content with your life--it may not get any better

I don't have anything really insightful or anything to say here; I basically just wanted to note that I saw Johnny Dowd in concert on Monday, which was pretty durned awesome. It was a tiny establishment, which is too bad insofar as he really ought to be more popular (I think he's bigger in Europe), but good insofar as I was sitting no more than six feet from the stage, and I got to meet him afterwards and get him to sign a CD. Amazingly, out of a set of fourteen songs, only three were from previous albums; I may not have been such a huge fan of his last one, but if these are any indication, the next one oughta pretty well rock.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Walls of Jericho, folks.

They're, you know, tumbling down. And none too soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

I don't! I don't! I don't hate it! I don't hate it!

So I've been reading my grandmother's memoire. As you can see, it's published by a vanity press. She wrote it some twenty years ago, but only became determined that it needed to be published a few years back. I'm not sure if there was some particular catalyst for this or not--no doubt it had something to do with a need to justify herself for the world. Anyway, the chances of a regular press touching it were rather low, and she had loads of cash, so my father undertook to get it vanity-published. And the truth is, there are good reasons why a real publisher wouldn't have taken it. I am by no means saying it was entirely without merit: she was, before age and alzheimer's kicked in, quite intelligent (tragic lack of self-awareness notwithstanding); her individual sentences are generally elegantly-formed, and now and again you'll come across an indelible image or an original and astute psychological insight. But, beyond the obviously self-serving nature of some of the recollections (which wouldn't necessarily be obvious to an outsider), it's very disjointed; she seems to have wanted to include every dim recollection that came to her, regardless of whether it it fit gracefully into the narrative or not. At the very least, it would have needed some serious editing. That's not really the point, though. I certainly wouldn't recommend it to a stranger, but for me, it does provide valuable psychological insight. She becomes more human, her life's tragedy all the more poignant. I haven't shed tears over her death, but I do mourn.

Anyway, I think I'm going to become like Quentin Compson in Absalom, Absalom!--obsessing over the past; creating highly speculative narratives centering around people who are ghosts to me, trying to make sense of an incomprehensible culture. You don't know the half of it--my father's entire side of the family is like a Flannery O'Connor story set to the tune of Tom Waits' "Cemetery Polka." And my mother's ain't exactly run-of-the-mill either. Further ruminations to come.

Monday, March 07, 2005

In memoriam

My grandmother, Elizabeth Petway Moses (née Buttorff), died yesterday, at the age of ninety-two . It's...well, it's not really a very emotional thing for me. I was never close to her, even though she lived in my hometown for the last five or six years of her life (my grandfather died a few days before 9/11, and it was all downhill from there). Still, it is quite sad, from an objective position. Not the death itself: it was quite obviously time, and it was as natural and peaceful as it could have been. But her life itself...she came from a rich old southern family that was positively Faulknerian in its psychoses and dysfuntionalities.

She hated most of her relatives, a hatred that, by all accounts, was not unjustified, but which she held onto like a talisman through her entire life, letting it subtly poison everything around her. She married my grandfather, William Moses, whom she had just met on an impulse, because she wanted to prove her family--which constantly told her that (unlike her sisters) she would never, ever marry--wrong. And for a while it must have seemed like this was IT; that she'd broken through the cloud cover and that there were only blue skies ahead. But such was not the case.

William had serious family issues of his own (he was always struggling under the dominion of his deranged mother, who incidentally HATED Elizabeth), but beyond that--and, most likely to some extent because of that--he was...not a good person. A while ago, after he'd died, my brother and I jokingly asked our father what alignment he would have been had he been a Dungeons and Dragons character, and after we reeled off the various options to him--lawful good, chaotic good, neutral good, lawful neutral, true neutral, chaotic neutral, lawful evil, chaotic evil, neutral evil--he chose "chaotic evil." That sounds hyperbolic, and it probably is. But maybe not totally inaccurate.

He was never physically abusive, nor was he an alochoholic or unfaithful or anything like that. What he was was persistently, unceasingly, almost pathologically self-centered. He wanted what HE WANTED, which was to fish and to write his middling poetry (he was an English professor at the University of Kansas for most of his adult life, and in one of his journals, he wrote that his goal was to work just hard enough to not get fired). Anything Elizabeth wanted that went against what he wanted, or that required extra effort on his part, was viewed as an imposition. He would never actually outright refuse her anything, though; he weas a very inassertive person. Instead, he would bottle up his deep irritation and resentment, only letting it show through consistent, low-level passive-aggressiveness. That's not to say that Elizabeth was entirely blameless here, but I'd rather not go down that path at the moment. Suffice to say, they grated on each other continuously over their sixty-six (!) years of marriage. An existential hell if ever there was one.

And now she's dead. A nearly perfect example of a life of quiet desperation. I don't want to claim that she was *never* happy, but as a whole, it was not an ideal life. Could she have found some measure of inner peace? I don't know. But her marriage pretty much precluded that possibility.

Goodbye, Elizabeth. In death if not life, may you find your peace.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Last night, I witnessed the truly sickening spectacle of Senator Ben "Torture Is Way Cool!" Nelson ("D"-NE) being interviewed on The Daily Show. He went on about how Bush gave him a nickname, but oh, he didn't like his nickname, so he asked for another, but what he REALLY wanted was his own nickname, that he would choose himself, and President Bush, that swell guy, agreed to call him "Benator." Gag me.

He also talked about how it's necessary to cooperate with the republicans whenever possible: "the American people don't like opposition just for opposition's sake." Hey, "Benator"--fuck you. He want a goddamn opposition party. We don't WANT you to play nice. Stewart seemed a bit non-plussed by his aggressively non-aggressive attitude; I was just nauseated. Watching things like this, it's difficult not to think: oh god, we're all doomed.