|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Thursday, January 25, 2007
My favorite moment on last night's Idol was of the blink-and-you-missed-it variety. Into an audition stepped a sixteen-year-old guy who looked like some mad scientist had illicitly obtained the DNA of Tyson Beckford and Halle Berry, stirred it together and spawned the sire of earth's next race of Hilfiger catalog models.
Kid was exceptionally good looking. There's not a homophobic Klansman in the country who wouldn't nod along with that comment.
They did some backstory on the guy, turns out he was adopted and raised by a Bolivian family. Nice story, kid goes in and sings, Paula calls him, "easy on the eyes," then he gets his golden ticket.
The best part was when he opened the door to his waiting family. He waves his voucher in the air and gets mobbed by his mom, dad and little brother - all of whom are dwarves next to his six foot something frame. The (assumedly) older brother off to the side said it all when in an instant he looked down at the floor, his shoulders slacked a little, and thusly defeated - again - he congratulated the winner of Darwin's genetic lottery.
There wouldn't be sibling rivalry without siblings, and while jealousy is certainly not a foreign concept to me, I can't for my life imagine what this guy's brothers feel like. It must be the Marcia/Jan relationship amplified by a factor of about twenty.
See, raised by Bolivians this guy can get ass from all the Latin American countries, and ethnically African-American means he essentially gets his pick from that community, Cubans and Puerto Ricans too. Being this guy's brother must be damn near the toughest thing on the planet to handle.
Here's where Bob would say, "While he's taking his shirt off in Ashanti videos over the next ten years, these brothers of his will still be trying to wipe my windshield down at traffic lights with greasy rags." This is why I'm not Bob.
I didn't have anything more on this than that, just mentioning it.
I also don't feel much like diving full force into the political shit today either, but there were two items I wanted to point out from the last two days or so (and both via Glenn Greenwald). Emphasis in the quotes below is mine:
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Wolf, you can come up with all kinds of what-ifs. You've got to deal with the reality on the ground. The reality on the ground is, we've made major progress, we've still got a lot of work to do. There are a lot of provinces in Iraq that are relatively quiet. There's more and more authority transferred to the Iraqis all the time.VP Cheney w/ Wolf Blitzer on CNN - via TPM Muckraker
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) asked Army Lt. Gen. David H . Petraeus during his confirmation hearing yesterday if Senate resolutions condemning White House Iraq policy "would give the enemy some comfort."Washington Post - 1/24/07
I don't generally know what to think when the smart and savvy people I know get more worked up about the DOJ's crackdown on Neteller than they apparently are about stuff like this.
In the first quote, the Vice President is saying, without equivocation, that the BIGGEST PROBLEM we face RIGHT NOW IS the danger that what will happen with all of the DEBATE over whether or not we should stay in Iraq is that it validates the terrorists' strategy that says Americans don't have the stomach for the fight.
I fucking dare you to tell me that's not what he said or what he meant. I purposefully did not reinterpret that quote, other than to remove some of the redundancies. The words are the Vice President's.
He is saying that debate over the war is the biggest problem we face right now. DEBATE OVER THE WAR, inside our legislative halls and in our media. It's not IEDs, it's not that we can't tell a friend from an enemy on the streets of Baghdad, and it's certainly not Sunnis, Shias, Iranians, North Koreans or Venezuela.
Our biggest problem is you dare to oppose the leader in his
Lieberman takes that a step further. I'll quote Greenwald here:
Using the terms to" give comfort" and the "enemy" in the same phrase has no conceivable objective other than to invoke accusations of treason. The Constitution's definition of "treason" is exactly that -- giving "Aid and Comfort" to the enemy. For Lieberman to purposely track the Constitution's treason language when describing opponents of the "surge" plan -- and to invite the new Iraq War Commander to agree with his accusation -- reveals so inescapably what Lieberman is. That's just the basest and most despicable smear one can imagine.The language Lieberman chooses is not carelessly constructed. The message of this administration in the post 9/11 world has been that you're either "With Us or Against Us"(TM). Not accidental, not a mistake.
Dissent is treasonous. It emboldens our enemy. It must be quelled.
You and your Neteller and me and my treason, we're both talking about personal liberties. Difference is, in order to get the little things accomplished in this country we have to understand that we're all in the same fight, and that's the one to stop these rhetorical tricks and this demogoguery from poisoning the waters. The administration would like nothing better than to have a rubber stamp legislature that bends to their whim, or at least one neutered of any ability to constructively discuss what's important to America and Americans.
You want your representatives to work to create a safe and legal US-based haven for online gambling. I get that. I want it too. But without dissent, without debate, without democracy you're effectively putting legislators in place who are powerless to enact meaningful change on unpopular issues.
And at this point, that's what you're asking for. Online poker is not a popular issue. But until we can somehow find a way back from rabid soundbite politics and this bullshit "us or the terrorists" mentality, you're not in a position to ask for anything unpopular to fall in your favor.
I'm less mad about "the war" as a concept than I am about the rhetorical obfuscation polluting political discourse at this very moment. You should be mad as hell too. "Click your mouse, lose your house" is rhetorical obfuscation, but no one's going to listen to logic until we stop fearmongering and equating common sense debate with treason.
Neteller's gone for now. How about we start paying attention to the more important stuff that seems to be falling by the wayside?
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
My ear's no longer bleeding. That's a positive sign.
I do, however, think a columnist at ESPN took a shot at me recently.
I also recently manufactured a script that changes the words "TomKat" and "Brangelina" to their more appropriate conjunction-joined long form names. Right here you see "TomKat" and "Brangelina" in their colloquial nicknamish form, yet even though I write it, my mad skillz make it so I don't have to look at it.
TomKat TomKat TomKat.
These things are generally unrelated, lest you worry that I'm trying to change the IntraWeb because it's trying to whisper evil thoughts into my head.
Apologies to Human Head, but the most evil thing I've heard lately is that you can put bacon in sausage, should that appeal to you.
I think it might at that.
The man on the ESPN end of the InterTubes basically said I was a promising writer with an unfulfilled promise. That I'm the type that's plagued by rejection paper, one who hates a working writer's good fortune.
I'm sorry, he didn't basically say that. He actually did.
To be fair, I probably deserved it.
Save the hate mail and the sympathy, as I'm more amused by this than anything.
None of it is all that untrue anyway.
True is that I'm not in a navel-gazing mood, nor am I willing to get into why. True is that I can actually see and almost touch some of the things I've been wringing my hands for want of for a couple years now. True is that I'm punchy and not introspective, that I'm not wearing the same mask I have been as of late. I'm not sure what that means for this iteration of the collected and self-published intermittent thoughts round these parts. I bought another domain, might step through that door at some point.
But when I get to the end? I'll want to start all over again.
I had steak frites, she the mussels at the brasserie in Broad Ripple. Post-Bouchon, I'm not sure I want to eat anyone else's mussels, let alone anyone else's sheep's milk cheese or salmon rillette.
I don't believe in the divinity of the Bible, the Easter Bunny, Papal Infalliability, or non-Keller seafood charcuterie spreads - but the steak frites were solid.
Matty says that when you're in the Midwest, you go with the beef. He'd add, "or something wrapped in bacon," but that's just understood.
She has a hard time filtering my atheism, and she took the side of the modern Christian Evangelical to run a counterpoint.
She's not a Christian Evangelical herself, but could buoy her side of the debate within that framework. Quizzical, challenging, unwilling to let empty rhetoric fall from my lips without taunting me that I can do better.
Christ, that's sexy.
She's spirtual, not religious. I'm unwilling to attach definitions to things I can't actually define, so I don't really consider myself spiritual, let alone religious. She believes in collective energy, the power of elements and life with a purpose. She spent fifteen minutes playfully trying to get me to admit that I did or didn't believe in aliens, under some assumption that all atheists felt one way or the other on the issue.
She let me fuck her, then make her a drink while she hunted for her notebooks. Old journal entries, short poems, short stories, entirely unafraid of the type of genuine nihilistic defeatism inherent in her words.
She's talented. A far better writer in a casual toss-away journal entry compared to anything on which I've exerted effort.
"This is from when I didn't believe in anything," she said, the darkness of her tone not put-upon by some bullshit suburban affinity for the music of Morrissey. "If I didn't feel like I mattered, like I wasn't part of something purposeful... more important than this at least, I don't know..." She didn't finish the sentence. Didn't have to. The scars up and down her left arm had healed over quite a bit since I last saw her in May, and the paranoia and worthlessness her mother spent two decades pounding into her head were in remission with the psychotropics and therapy.
Rachel rolled to her other shoulder and squeezed up against me, not at all self-conscious about resurrecting dinner's topic of conversation lying naked pressed into my body. She said, "This is why I have a hard time understanding you. If you don't believe in something greater, what's the point?"
I've never been with a woman who's smarter than I am. Rephrasing that entirely, I've never been with a woman who has chosen to use her intelligence over, perhaps, charisma or a sense of savvy to relate to me. I'm not necessarily calling anyone dumb by saying this, other than that it's obvious to me that I'm a different and more engaged person in the midst of an interesting discussion than I am when I figure out the woman on the other end can't pull her weight.
The above isn't an egotistical statement, it's a simple fact. I'm not a genius. You're probably more well-read than I am. It's that at 31 I discovered the late 70s recordings of J.J. Cale and thought, Where has this been my entire life? I "found" something that was always there for me, had I just been more informed about where to look.
Same thing here. Bantering and arguing with Rachel isn't loaded. She knows when to play along with my bullshit and when to call me on it. She challenges me in ways that make me recognize that this type of interaction moves squarely into my prerequisite column from here on out.
Simply put, I like who I am when I'm with her. It's not about her liking me, which she does. It's about me liking me. Novel concept.
The longest relationship I've ever been in was destructive, helmed by a woman who was alternately unwilling and incapable of pushing me to be thoughtful, critical, intelligent and sharp. She was the type of woman carried by big tits and a smile along with loads of charisma, but never engaged me the way Rachel has in (laughably) four dates across nine months.
I don't believe in a purpose, a plan, or things that are or aren't "meant to be." That would involve attaching explanations to things that are patently unexplainable, a violation of my doctrine of non-nihilistic spirituality to be sure. Even though I believe the circumstances of the here and now are an entirely random confluence of events, it is rather amazing that the one girl I manage to pick up in a bar in recent history happens to be the one to show me the things I didn't even know I was missing over my last 32 years.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
About the Author
Greatest Hits [archived]
Guinness and Poker
Al Can't Hang
The Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Tao of Pauly
Scott, Texas' favorite Fat Guy
Only Built 4 Cuban Links
Up For Poker
Ugarte's Poker Grovel
JD's Cheap Thrills
Poker Stars Blog
Vegas Poker Blog
Poker in the Weeds
Nickle And Dimes
Not a Poker Blog
Dispatches From The Culture Wars
Horse Racing Links
Curb My Enthusiasm
Daily Racing Form
They Are At The Post
Tampa Bay Downs
Your Average Horseplayer
Tote Board Brad
Left At The Gate
design by maystar
powered by blogger
Syndicate this site
Online Poker : Visit Dr. Pauly at Tao of Poker for the best written journal on Poker Around. From on-line poker rooms to off-line live tournament coverage including the WSOP.
Las Vegas : The Poker Prof's Las Vegas and Poker Blog is the goto stop for people who come to Sin city to hit the tournaments and poker rooms. From the World Poker Tour to the World Series if it's big poker in Vegas it's blogged here. Home to the Prof's Las Vegas Links Directory.
Utilities Provided By