At the Fashion Square Starbucks yesterday waiting for my soy hot chocolate, as I was busy checking out a hot chick who was waiting for her vanilla latte…I was approached by a 50 something gay man who proceeded with the dreaded intro “Do you mind if I ask you something?” At first I though I had been staring too obviously at the girl and he was going to call me out for it, but then I figured it was just going to be a typical homosexual proposition…of which I have received thousands in my short lifetime. To my surprise though, he pointed toward three middle aged, ordinary looking guys who were in line and busted out with his question, “So who do you think dresses those 3 guys?” I looked back at him with a lighthearted smile and shrugged “I don’t know..Walmart maybe?” To which he replied “I’m thinking Mesa.” As he was headed out the door we gave each other a wave goodbye, and I said “Take it easy, pal.” A cool dude, but at the same time I kinda felt bad for the three guys. They just didn’t care about fashion or Scottsdale style..so what? As I gave them a another look I noticed one of them had an “Oklahoma Sooners” sweatshirt. Sure enough. Of course! Indeed the mall was packed with people from Oklahoma and Connecticut in town for the Fiesta Bowl to watch and cheer on their respective teams.
The first thing the incident brought to mind was that this is my home. That I in fact, belong here and this guy singled me out as being one of his kind was his way of saying “You and me, this is our territory. Who the hell are these guys and what are they doing here?” He saw me as one of his own, a fashion conscious, mild mannered, style oriented person of the East Phoenix/Scottsdale persuasion. Some people might find that disgusting, and maybe I do on some level. But as someone who has been on the other end of the equation, the stranger from out of town who draws peculiar stares and prompts cliche “Rebel Without a Cause” or “The Wraith” type questions like “You ain’t from around here are you?”(you should have seen the looks that I got from people while wandering through the Pittsburgh bar scene a few years ago) it was nice to for once be one of the “us” and not “them.” And of course, deep down I am like that 50 something Scottsdale gay guy…judgmental about people’s styles and often superficially able to dismiss “folks” out of hand, embarrassed to be seen with people who are unattractive or wack…too busy to take the time to get entangled in people’s troubles and too laid back to care about them. Rightly or wrongly…I must admit those characteristics manifest themselves in my personality and have for as long as I can remember. They can be kept in check but not eliminated.
The second thing this incident made me think of was the 1987 Fiesta Bowl between Miami and Penn State, the most memorable college football game of my childhood and a classic battle between “good and evil.” I watched this game in my grandparents living room in Phoenix on the evening of January 2, 1987. It was actually played at Sun Devil stadium in Tempe. I wanted Penn State to win in the worst way, since they were the underdog. Miami was heavily favored, and I never really expected Penn State to win(how I was able to draw up scenarios in my head and attempt to predict the outcome of football games at that young of age is a mystery to me.)
In Chuck Klosterman’s book “Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs” he devotes a chapter to the 1980′s NBA rivalry between the “Lakers and Celtics” as being a microcosm for almost everything in life:
“As I have grown older, it’s become clear that the Lakers-Celtics rivalry represents absolutely everything: race, religion, politics, mathematics, the reason I’m still not married, the Challenger explosion, Man vs. Beast, and everything else. There is no relationship that isn’t a Lakers-Celtics relationship.”
Indeed, the same could be said of the 1987 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl(incidentally the first major bowl game ever to have a corporate sponsor in the title.) In fact, it was originally hyped as being good vs. evil before the game was even played. The slicked back hair of Miami coach Jimmy Johnson and his Heisman trophy quarterback Vinny Testaverde along with all the arrogant, suntanned, too cool for school, flashy Miami Hurricanes vs. old stalwart Joe Paterno and some blue collar, steeltown, god and country boys from Pennsylvania. The fast paced, showy, light up the scoreboard passing game of Miami vs the disciplined defense and fundamentals oriented Penn State. Looking back at that game, it’s clear that while Penn State may have won the battle..our side lost the war. Most of today’s sports teams resemble the Miami Hurricanes of 1987, and sports and society in general have long since adopted Miami’s as the dominant ethos. The steel mills and factories in Pittsburgh and all along the rust belt have all but disappeared now. College players skip their senior year to go pro for big bucks to spend on goods made in China and Japanese cars which they drive around with one the endless amount of trashy women they cheat on their spouses with. It’s difficult to reconcile the measured temperament and suit and tie demeanor of the 1987 Penn State Nittany Lions with the inarticulate, roided out, foul mouthed, gold toothed pimp athlete/monsters of today. Not only that, but nearly all college bowl games now have some sort of major corporate sponsorship. Heck, a crapload of the modern bowl games are straight up named for corporations: (Insight Bowl, Godaddy.com Bowl, The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl…no I’m not making these up.) In fact, my once favorite bowl game “The Citrus Bowl”(I thought it had a cool logo) is now called “The Capital One Bowl.” Sigh…named after a fucking credit card! Oh I forgot we import more of our fruits from Canada and Central America now while our main industries are finance, real estate, retail clothing and fast food. No more need for a citrus bowl! It’s obsolete. Maybe not quite yet, but soon….
“While growth in U.S. fruit exports has been strong, the United States has remained a net fruit importer. U.S. fruit imports grew during the last two decades and through the mid- to late-2000s, due in part to the growing minority ethnic populations in the United States and to an increased demand for new products. Not only have imports expanded for commodities already produced domestically, creating competition for U.S. producers, but imports have also increased for nontraditional fruits, especially many tropical fruits.”
Anyway enough about all that. One memory that stands out for me is that almost immediately after the game was over, they cut to local news which upset my uncle because they interrupted a shot of the cheerleaders. He actually got so angry that he called the television station to complain! To this day I’m still not sure whether he was joking or not, but I’m pretty sure that he wasn’t.
It ended up being the most watched college football game ever, and I will never forget it. The thing I always wonder though, is whether I grew up to be a Miami Hurricanes person. The 1987 Fiesta Bowl was a seesaw game that frequently plays out in my head as I make decisions. It was a close game. It is still a very close game.
The plane landed rather hard and kind of awkwardly swerved a few times on the runway. The pilot even joked about it over the loudspeaker “And after that crash landing… welcome to L.A!”
I caught a cab to Mark Schoenecker’s place on Sunset and LaCienega. It’s hard to believe he’s lived there 10 years, but swoosh! Just like that, there they went. I hopped the fence, and the first thing I noticed was that it’s not as sturdy as it used to be. The thing is held together by like twist ties now, and feels as though it could collapse at any moment while you’re climbing it. Old habits be damned, I’ve decided to use the gate code from now on.
When I got into his apartment, Mark wasn’t home… naturally. I attempted to play a 45 record, “Turn Down Day” by The Cyrkle. It played the song at a slightly slower speed, and then the record player died. Apparently the motor is bad but every three months or so you can turn it on, and it will manage to play half of a song. I had dinner at Poquito Mas(studio plate) and wandered around Sunset for a bit. Drank a tall can of Pabst blue ribbon and fell asleep in the mustard yellow living room chair, until Mark got home and woke me up.
Saturday was the party at VJA’s house in Malibu that I flew in for. I got to see some people I hadn’t seen in a long time. I met some new people I’m not likely to see for quite a while and wish I could see more of. Sitting on the deck, overlooking the beach I thought to myself “There are worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.” I love old friends. I never forget them, and the ones who never forget me are the ones I love the most.
Sunday, after riding around in their Volvo listening to “Sounds of the 70′s,” (whoa-ho it’s magic…you knowwww”) I had lunch at the Beverly Center with Greg and Mark. We talked about that rapper dude “Dolla” that got shot there, and Schoenecker floated some of his own theories about the unresolved death. We walked around Melrose for bit, went into some stores but didn’t buy anything. Sunday evening we were lucky enough to have dinner with Alex Berg at Cafe Med. She discussed her dating misadventures, and we listened attentively and occasionally chimed in with some bad advice or the sort of useless insight you’d expect out of the type of guy she’s probably never been involved with. She wanted us to go with her to The Darkroom, but Mark absolutely would not go. I really did actually want to go, but it just didn’t materialize.
Monday I met up with Kathy and we walked for a long time and then had brunch somewhere on Melrose before she drove me to the airport. I tried to wake Mark up to say goodbye, but he didn’t awaken. So I left him a note on his fridge that said something like “Thanks Mark! Be sure and go down on someone on my behalf love, b.a.” Knowing him that note will probably fossilize itself there for several years.
I can think of worse ways to spend a saturday afternoon…
Schoenecker casts his eyes upon the briny deep
“Dispersion” art exhibit at LAX by Meeson Pae Yang
Probably the closest I’ll ever get to experiencing space travel in my lifetime.
Quite often times
people who say you’re really creepy
come to find themselves
cavorting with the real creeps
A lot of people find this blog while searching for the darndest things like “comeback if someone calls you creepy” or “fear of heights, ball tingle”(an actual phenomenon I am actually quite familiar with.) All right, I can’t do anything about ball tingle from fear of heights…as far as I know there is no cure for that except maybe castration which isn’t all that bad of an idea anyway.
However. i have been called creepy by my fair share of girls in my day, so if you want comebacks for when some unimaginative nervous nelly calls you creepy I will give them to you….
For one thing, you can tell her straight up that if she’s dumb enough to mistake your well intentioned originality for creepiness, it can only mean that she must completely lack any viable form of women’s intuition.
Or if you want to try another approach, which actually ties in with the first one somewhat: This is the technical response, but which I would prefer to call the “twilight zone” response…because if they have any brains it might make them think. It’s also the more honest and disarming answer as you actually have to be willing to acknowledge a bit of your creepiness. It basically goes something like this:
“Look, maybe you think I’m creepy, but that’s not as bad as actually being a creep. After all, I’m merely creepy, not really a true creep. Most of the girls who thought I was creepy ended up later getting involved with actual creeps. Because some guys don’t seem creepy…you never see it coming when you find out they are a creep because you won’t know until the dude’s already nailed you and turned you into an angro for life(angro is a term for an “angry bimbo” meaning a slutty girl that has become an angry slutty girl as a result of being jaded from their bad decision making and being bamboozled by worthless guys. You can spot angros at bars usually. They are slutty looking girls that have a chip on their shoulder and are often drunk and grouchy. They sometimes get thrown out while yelling about how men are assholes. They are still bimbos though.) How often do you hear about some guy that a girl thought was so great, and was allsurprised when he turned out to be a piece of shit? So next time you end up all distraught over your bedazzling nightmare scenario with some full blown creep, baby you’re gonna wish you were with someone as creepy as me.”
So the “Stuff White People Like,” Ikea throwpillow crowd and their new found multinational corporate allies, are all up in arms over the reactionary Arizona immigration bill, SB1070. They are appalled at the prospect that *gasp* the police can ask for your drivers license or ID when they pull you over. Wait don’t they already do that now? Next time I get stopped by a cop who asks to see my license, registration, and proof of insurance I’m going to go to the ACLU and ask why my rights are being violated. The new immigration law will lead to racial profiling, they say. Hellooo Mcfly, anybody home? There are zillions of people of Hispanic ancestry in Phoenix, and the police are not going to be messing with anyone who speaks fluent English and has an ID card just because they look brown. Sure, cops can be assholes…but most of them are already awash in “sensitivity training” and generally would prefer not to bother with anything that’s going to create annoying paperwork for them unless it’s for a valid reason. I mentioned a couple weeks ago, that we found a Mexican dude passed out in the bushes in our backyard. The guy spoke almost no English, had no identification, and was carrying in his possession nothing but a weed pipe and a pair of women’s underwear. And I’m pretty sure the cops let that guy go and even gave him a ride home. In the cases of some of the officers who were murdered by illegal aliens, the suspects had previously been arrested dozens of times. They should have been deported long before but were allowed to remain because federal authorities never bothered to do anything. Thus a state law was passed, which simply mirrors the already existing federal law.
Who doesn’t have an ID card anyway? How backward do you have to be to be a naturalized citizen of a country and not carry any ID whatsoever?….which leads us to the unintended victims of the Immigration bill:
That’s right, prehistoric cavemen living in the mountains of the Arizona desert, and misc backwoodsmen lurking about in the deep forests of Flagstaff.
The notion that if you’re opposed to illegal immigration and favor a pro-low immigration policy similar to(by today’s standards) the almost complete moratorium on immigration we had from 1924-1965(which ushered in the golden age of America 1945-1965) …the idea that that’s somehow racist is nothing but a red herring and the product of a generation which lacks critical thinking skills and can’t appreciate historical context of anything that happened prior to 1980. People who oppose illegal immigration are not racist and not anti-immigrant. We merely support a pro-low immigration policy. Mass immigration from specific countries leads to a sort of neo-segregation as it deprives people of the need to adapt to their new country, and so they form cities within cities. They often live in completely self segregated Spanish speaking neighborhoods and have their own separate newspapers and television stations. Even the fact that so many people self identify themselves as Hispanic or Mexican is in itself a form of racialism and proof that attempts to integrate them into our society have largely been a failure.
The reason why the racism charge is also B.S. is that it fails to take into account the fact that many Hispanics are opposed to illegal immigration and support the new law. When an initiative passed a few years ago making English the official language of the state, it’s worth noting (but rarely mentioned) that 50% of Hispanics voted for it! They don’t want to self identify with a specific race. I’m of mostly Scandinavian and German ancestry, but feel no allegiance toward those nations and do not partake in any ancient grievance mongering related to their historical conflicts. The mere mention of my ancestry is generally limited to the context of complaining about how my skin can’t handle being exposed to sunlight for more than a few minutes.
And what happened to localism? Why are liberals allying themselves with transnational big businesses like Walmart and Mcdonalds? Lately it seems the left are giving Mitt Romney a run for his money in terms of how much big business cock they can suck. Ah the times they are a changin’ again. Just because some CEOs are getting rich by selling out their culture and countrymen’s standard of living, doesn’t mean that it’s better for the community as a whole. Funny how you never see the people who profit off these folks living among them in the slummy environments that they’ve created. Sure, it all looks great now when you just cash your check from a gated community, but slowly(or perhaps rapidly) the demographics are changing and the children of these folks are coming of age and voting themselves into power. It’s not because conservatives oppose illegal immigration that Hispanics vote against them(okay so maybe it pushed it from like 70% to 80%). It’s because impoverished Hispanics simply vote overwhelmingly socialist and liberal as is evident in almost all of South America. Sure, so they are conservative a on a few religious issues like abortion. Great, so we’ll have a socialist espanol speaking suprawelfare state, but with abortion finally illegal, and a resurgence in usage of the term “Christmas Tree” (as opposed to the secular Holiday Tree”). No thanks, that’s a shitty tradeoff. Liberals and gays should also not dismiss the fact that illegal immigration is often counter-productive toward many of their political goals. Poor immigrants are generally religious, culturally conservative, traditionalist chauvinists who vote against gay rights and women’s rights.
Conservative libertarians should take note that the intention of having a “free-er” market may suicidally result in just the opposite. It’s worth mentioning that southern California was once a bastion of Goldwater conservatism. Now Los Angeles is heavily democratic, and Orange County barely leans moderate republican save a few pockets of resistance. Much of this can be traced to the changes in demographics in the region as opposed to the “changing of minds.” Thus ironically. libertarianism without borders actually leads to statism.
Here is a photo of Maryvale developer “John F Long” with Ronald Reagan in 1958, selling new homes to World War II veterans.
Now Maryvale is a third world scumtown. Gee, those World War II vets must have really made a mess of the place…or could there possibly have been another culprit in Maryvale’s demise? Hmmm…
There’s something else, too. Many of these southwestern states: California, Arizona and Nevada have severe water shortages on the horizon, and yet we’re being told we need to take in hundreds of thousands of new people every year. What sort of effect is this going to have on the price of utilities let alone the actual physical problems associated with these shortages? Is this cost factored into the equation of how much money we are supposedly saving with cheap labor? And what about the environment? Just how much sense does it make to import millions of impoverished people from rag-tag third world countries into a vast metropolis in the middle of the desert? Continued population growth in these places will lead to more land development, more urban sprawl, more crummy condos and ghetto apartments, more Walmarts and Food Citys, or to paraphrase Peter Cook as the devil in the film “Bedazzled” (1967 version)
“All right, you great git, you’ve asked for it. I’ll cover the world in Tastee-Freez and Wimpy Burgers. I’ll fill it with concrete runways, motorways, aircraft, television, automobiles, advertising, plastic flowers, frozen food and supersonic bangs. I’ll make it so noisy and disgusting that even you’ll be ashamed of yourself! No wonder you’ve so few friends; you’re unbelievable!”
When a civilization becomes highly advanced it begins to take polite society for granted, forgetting about the inevitably irrepressible monsters from the id, which still exist in all of us. And the Id of course, is the part of the psychic apparatus which impoverished people, including immigrants from third world countries, most often live by.
“The Romans conquered the barbarians—and the barbarians conquered Rome. Colonization of the mother countries by subject peoples is the last chapter in the history of empires—and the next chapter in the history of the West—that is now coming to a close. -Pat Buchanan, Paris Burning
And just who the F is Robert Sutherland Telfer you must be wondering? Robert Sutherland Telfer played Scott Erickson in the 1st season of “Saved By the Bell: The New Class.” He was supposed to play a sort of next generation “Zack Morris.” According to Dustin Diamond in his book “Behind the Bell,” RST apparently was removed from the show and promptly replaced when it was learned he was a “radical conservative” and his views were discovered by all on the set. I found it a bit hard to believe that he would have been removed for this reason given that Saved By The Bell producer Peter Engel served as a dean at Pat Robertson’s(of all people!) school, but perhaps these decisions were made at lower levels. Not to mention Hollywood people, probably Peter Engel included, are quick to dump anyone or sell them out at the first sign of controversy/confrontation. And this was NBC after all… So if anyone knows what happened to the evil right wing reincarnation of Zack Morris and what he is up to now, let me know. IMDB indicates he never worked in that town again.
The difference between Scottsdale girls and Tempe girls is that Scottsdale girls are interested in money, brand names and image. They tend not to give you the time of day unless you can fulfill their expectations in these areas, which is not to say that they have good taste as far as these things go(some “gaud awful” stuff appeals to them as money rarely equates to good taste… with the atrocious downtown Scottsdale condo architecture being a perfect example) Tempe girls usually come from traumatic backgrounds and are merely interested in love and attention. In a way they care about image too, but much less so and having what would be considered a quality image(stable job, grooming habits, cool clothes, reasonably intelligent etc) actually works against you. With Tempe girls, you basically can be some heavily tattooed doofus slob who just drunkenly stumbles into them and mumbles some shit…and odds are you can have your way with them for an evening or two(a long term Tempe relationship is like 2 months, average is a couple weeks.) This may seem like it would be more advantageous to go for Tempe girls, but it can be frustrating since if you’re a guy who does care even slightly about intellect, image, goals etc….these things will not benefit you in your pursuit of said girls, and you will likely frequently lose out on these girls to many drunken, ugly, listless, worthless, morons. You will short every circuit in your body trying to compute how it happened and what adaptations will be required for future attempts. Such thoughts are futile. If you want to score a make out sesh with a Tempe girl, just say “Hey, ladies… I’m a tattoo artist, my band’s playing at Yucca Tap Room, sometimes I bartend at the Rogue and oh I’ve got some pills.” It doesn’t even matter if none of these things are true as the relationship will likely be over before she finds out, and lying about it makes you into a scumbag which will push you even further into the demographic of the Tempe girl, thus opening up all sorts of new opportunities with her friends and acquaintances.
It’s getting to be that time of the year in Phoenix when one’s ass is in almost a perpetual state of sweatiness. There’s really not much you can do about it either. Here I am in my underwear typing this in the comfort of my climate controlled habitat of a room…and still sweating my tail off with nothing to do but wait it out, which reminds me….
For some reason in the spring of 2002 I became obsessed with the Vietnam War, reading all sorts of dusty, out of print memoirs and accounts of mostly forgotten figures from that era. The best of these was probably Louis Fanning’s “Betrayal in Vietnam” which hardcover copies are still out there and available on Amazon starting at just 36 cents. One of my favorite documentaries on the Vietnam War was “The Ten Thousand Day War,” which came out in 1980 and incidentally was made by Peter Arnett, who later became a famous and controversial correspondent in both gulf wars. The bias in “The 10,000 Day War” is somewhat negated by the fact that the film features many interviews with former leaders, officials, and soldiers who are given ample time to state their take on events that transpired. The finest of these are the ones with former South Vietnamese president Nguyen Van Thieu and former Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky. Though I haven’t seen this in like 8 years, I recall one of our ally, Nguyen Cao Ky’s statements as being significant:
“Americans are a very impatient people. For Vietnamese people, time means nothing to them. They’ll just outwait you. I told President Johnson that the Americans should just go and win the war quickly.”
Fast forward to the present, and what in the world does the Vietnam War have to do with wishy-washy girls? Well, a lot actually if you think about it, but laying out those abstract connections in detail is not the purpose of this entry so just use your imagination for now.
I recently had a discussion with some girls who boasted about knowing exactly what they wanted in a guy, and they could know flat out whether they were interested or not. They made a point to distinguish themselves from those wishy-washy girls that can never make up their mind about a guy, and are forever going back and forth on what they want.
You can imagine their reaction when I told them that I actually preferred such eternally indecisive girls. The reason being is that if a girl knows exactly what she wants, and it’s not you…well then if you like her you’re simply out of luck. Her mind is already made up before giving you a chance to win her over and convince her that in fact she does want you, she just didn’t know it yet. I don’t want someone whose mind is already made up about what they want in someone before they even meet me. I know that i’m probably too idiosyncratic to fit into whatever carefully crafted image of the perfect guy they’ve concocted. At least with a wishy-washy girl I can make use of my skills in advertising and marketing to sell her a useless product she doesn’t need(…me!) And yes, I realize there’s a major downside:
“Cecelia, you’re breaking my heart. You’re shaking my confidence daily.”
Of course it can be exhausting to have a girl adore you one day while knowing she may not be interested in you the next.
“I got up to wash my face, when I come back to bed someone’s taken my place”
But so what? If you’re cleverly persuasive, she may like you even more the day after that.
“Jubilation, she loves me again! I fall on the floor and I’m laughing.”
At least if she craps out on you it will always be possible to win her back in the future. As a bonus this can also help quell one’s narcissistic fear of engulfment, since you know this isn’t an all or nothing deal and you will have plenty of opportunities for a way out, in order to maintain your sense of self. It’s also a whole-lotta fun thinking of ways to try to win someone back, especially if you know you’re not just going up against a brick wall, but rather a Belgian waffle.
You can buy them shoes, necklaces, write them elaborate text message love letters that borderline on creepy, send them flowers, set jealousy traps(sucks when they do that back to you though,) buy yourself a new wardrobe so they can see how attractive you can make yourself for brief periods of time, etc.
We’ve all done it, like in that episode of The Wonder Years where Kevin Arnold goes to that party where Winnie Cooper is there with her new boyfriend, and Kevin tries to make her jealous by hanging out with Madeline(who incidentally was not wishy washy in the least but still hotter than Winnie anyway) and being the life of the party, strutting his stuff on the wall to wall carpet dance floor and waving his jacket in the air(it ends up not working and he comes off like even more of a jerk.)
It’s never enough to just win a girl over anyway…or “get the girl.” As F Scott Fitzgerald somberly observed in “This Side of Paradise,” beautiful debutantes need to be won over again every time you see them. It would be a pity if simply failing to win them over just one of the times, would trigger a swift decisive judgment that would disqualify you for all time. Rather I’d prefer a stalemate see-saw battle,a war of attrition, where patience and persistence could eventually carry the day, even if just for that day.
The title of this entry was a variant of the book title “In Praise of the Stepmother” which I have to say deals with entirely different subject matter…
So I tried to go to the show at The Clubhouse where The Middle East was playing, but it was sold out. You’d think someone who’s been around as long as I have would have no trouble getting into one of these shindigs via guest lists, fair weather friends and whatever. One of the drawbacks of being a reclusive artist though is that you never make the connections with the sleazy promoter people to finagle your way onto the guest lists of these jams. For someone who goes out nearly every single night, I have very little interest in that sort of thing. It’s been ages since I went to see a live band play locally with any sincere intent other than shameless self-promotion and meeting attractive girls. Anyhow, I can confess to never having heard any of “The Middle East’s” songs or “Frightened Rabbit” for that matter(who canceled due to the volcano eruption, grounded European flights debacle.) Now that I no longer have a hip young stylist as a girlfriend, I am exposed to even less new music as I listen to what I want to listen to like 100% of the time now as opposed to being coerced into broadening with the threat of imminent bitchiness if I don’t stop being so selfish.
And with that you’re probably wondering “Where the fuck is he going with this entry?” Well, nowhere important really… other than last week as I was eating some chicken from El Pollo Supremo, I picked up a copy of The New Times(which is almost never a good idea for anyone with a conservative bone in their body)and opened to a random page where there was an interview with director Kevin Smith. Now I never liked any of Kevin Smith’s movies except sort of Mallrats…but even that’s not because I think it’s great, I just love going to the mall. I am a mallrat. Also any kid who was a skateboarder in the 90′s wanted to see one of our own, Jason Lee(my first proper skateboard was the Blind Jason Lee model with The Grinch on it.) I think Kevin Smith just tries too hard to be witty, and the dialogue always comes off as so phony. The scripts never dig down deep to uncover any genuine sincerity. Not to mention I think that “Jay and Silent Bob” are the two most unfunny, annoying character creations on the planet. Also, he’s from New Jersey or something, and like Billy Zoom, I almost universally hate east coast accents. There’s a certain inherent belligerence to them. However, I was shocked to see him say that he “can’t stand going to live shows, because you can never hear the lyrics” which I can definitely relate to. It all just depends what you enjoy about music and what you look to get out of it. Some people like to rock and run around bumping into each other. Others get off on the loudness and energy of the band. For me though, I’m almost always looking for something in the lyrics to validate and vindicate whatever I’m currently feeling, and I picture some other person out there hearing the song and understanding how I feel. If it sounds good and is in tune well that’s just a bonus. Like I have fantasies of walking into a club where there’s a jukebox. There’s hardly anyone there except some girl that I used to like, have a crush on, banged etc… and so I put in a few bucks and play a song on the jukebox(think “Alone Again Or” by the band “Love” or the Rolling Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow”) that somehow if she would just stop talking to the ugly trashy dude she’s with and pay attention to it she would know exactly where I’m coming from and some sort of satisfactory closure or grand re-opening would be realized. Of course the stars would never align that way. The point is that people are not all looking to get the same things out of art. And understanding what someone else is looking for is the first step to appreciating why they may not have the same perception and appreciation of things that you enjoy.
Anyhow, my connection with Kevin Smith was short lived as a few lines down in the interview he makes the following ignorant statement:
“I thought, ‘Phoenix is hot, people wear less clothing, so they’d be less inhibited and less conservative,’” he says. “Or maybe it’s the opposite — since people are wearing less clothing, they feel the need to be the morality police.”
First of all, in typical intellectually incurious, east coast fashion this shows Kevin Smith understands absolutely nothing about conservatism. Conservatives like sexy, feisty, classically beautiful women like Raquel Welch whereas liberal female icons are people like Ellen Degeneres and Kathy Griffin. Furthermore it’s the left wing NAGS and stick-in-the-mud feminazi types like Gloria Steinem who are always whining about the objectification of women, and protesting the attractiveness of magazine models, while lobbying for the right to be fat not have to shave their legs, armpits or wear make up. Conservatives on the other hand see men and women as having definite biological differences and therefore fulfilling natural gender roles… which is why despite all the social conditioning and youth indoctrination people will never completely be a neutered, unisex species because there are certain uncontrollable biological forces at work. They can be bent, but not broken, not until science actually has perfected the capability of physically altering those forces, at which time men will be obsolete. But until then, women will want to wear scantily clad clothing and attract men, and men will want to have sex with as many girls as they can get there grubby little hands on. That’s conservatism, grounded in reality.
As for the religious nuts and the puritans…well they’re hypocrites of course as they turn out to be the biggest pervs of all, but even they recognize the importance of gender roles and can appreciate sexiness, just not when it’s flaunted and paraded about in polite society. Rather they prefer it within the private context of loyal, steadfast relationships and I will resist the urge to say… seminaries and airport bathrooms…but here’s a shocking fact, Catholics and Jews are overwhelmingly democrats. It’s only WASPs who lean republican. That’s the birds and the bees for you.
“That’ll be 8.02″
(I hand the girl at the counter a $10 bill
and she starts to count out 1.98 in change)
“You’re not really going to give me 98 cents change are you?”
Normally I pay for everything with my debit card, but at certain places I only pay cash because I don’t necessarily want them to know who I am. I’ve had people look for me online before after seeing me somewhere…and that’s cool I do that sort of thing too, but I also write about all sorts of nutty exchanges I have with people so you just really never know who reads this stuff and how they’d react. Maintaining anonymity in certain circles(like where I eat) is important to me.
Back in the days when I was a “broke ass ” coins were a hot commodity (even mangled pennies that had been run over to the point of near-unrecognizability were highly sought after.) Anything to get me closer to the short term goal of either a single bag of microwave popcorn or a stick of processed string cheese from 7-eleven.
The only time in recent memory that I made any serious effort to scrounge around for change buried within the meager crevasses of my room was about a month ago, and I was able to muster about $35 worth… which I brought to the Coinstar machine and converted it into cash that I then took to Vegas where it swiftly evaporated into a “Money Mad Martians” slot machine and was completely vaporized within about 20 minutes.
I hate coins. They should just get rid of them altogether. When your skinny jean pockets get too filled with change, it just makes it look like you have a displaced scrotum. Not to mention it sags your pants and causes you to make constant belt notching adjustments to account for the periodic increases and decreases in coin levels throughout the day.
Years ago people saved every penny. Nowadays you find a quarter in your pocket(not a roll of quarters mind you) and it’s “how the the heck did that get in there?” just before you toss it somewhere harmlessly without even bothering to make a wish.
So I went to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and let me just say that I want to move to Las Vegas. I love it so much, it has surpassed Los Angeles as my all time favorite city. Don’t believe anyone who tells you it’s a crummy place. The truth is that it’s magical and dreamlike.
Once my business was done at the show, I walked up and down the Las Vegas strip over and over and over. I went in every single casino, not to gamble but just to gaze around and explore. The first chance I got I walked really far to get to Circus Circus(a circus themed casino). I had always wanted to see it since it was in “Diamonds Are Forever,” one of my all time favorite movies. People had warned me that it’s part of the old strip, and sort of a seedy area now, but I didn’t care. I stubbornly walked really far to get to it, and I was not disappointed one bit. Circus Circus is an awesome place. People have to learn to love the idea of something, the feeling of it.
Circus Circus is like a gigantic 60′s carnival with slot machines. I would say that it’s like Chuck E Cheese with slot machines, but that would not be doing the place justice. And their slot machines are good too. I played for a really loooong time with only 5 bucks, and I left with 10. Oh and the game that the kid plays in “Diamonds Are Forever”(1971) where they shoot water and it blows up the balloons…it’s still there! I’ve also started getting into the habit of writing the year of the movie next to the title, as there are so many crappy remakes of my favorite movies, I can’t even keep track anymore and I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea and start thinking I’m talking about some modern film godforbid. seriously..barf
Getting back to why Las Vegas is wonderful, it is a sort of fantasy land. Like you can live in alternate realities there and dream worlds. Say you’re in the mood to be in a pirate atmosphere, you just head on over to Treasure Island. Say you feel like going to the Circus, you tumble on down to Circus Circus. What’s that? In the mood for some Springtime in Paris? Just travel a few blocks to Paris casino! Oh, you’d rather visit the old west? Well no need to bust out a delorean time machine ala “Back to the Future 3″(1990), just come on down to Bills Gamblin Saloon! You get the idea. Las Vegas is the escapist’s paradise. Get it? It’s really, really neat.
One thing I always remember about Los Angeles was that it’s often difficult to get into places. The vibe is one where everybody always says “no”. Whether you’re at the bank trying to cash a check, looking to go into a bar, or just asking a friend for a ride…the word “no” is something you get used to hearing. In fact, part of coming of age in Los Angeles is learning the wisdom to not ask for anything, as the moment you stop asking is when you finally start getting somewhere. While wandering though Las Vegas, I didn’t experience any of the cold shoulder you typically get in LA. I had no problem getting in anywhere. No one ever treated me as if I wasn’t supposed to be there.
There were no annoyingly pompous doormen, guest lists, etc. I could walk into the biggest hotels and restaurants, without any hassle. It was a completely friendly and totally welcoming atmosphere. Everyone is in a good mood and eager to help.
I had an amazing burger at this place called the Stripburger(strip as in Las Vegas Strip, not strip clothes) It was really juicy, even better than Johnny Rockets or the ostritch burger from Astro Burger. Also, while at the airport waiting for my plane back I won $250 in an Airport slot machine called “White Ice.” I had only put a buck in.