Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Ballrooms of Mars

I'm only 82 percent sure who Alan Freed is.
You gonna look fine
Be primed for dancing
You're gonna trip and glide
All on the trembling plane
Your diamond hands
Will be stacked with roses
And wind and cars
And people of the past

I'll call you thing
Just when the moon sings
And place your face in stone
Upon a hill of stars
And gripped in the arms
Of the changeless madman
We'll dance our lives away
In the Ballrooms of Mars

You talk about day
I'm talking 'bout nighttime
When monsters call out
The names of men
Bob Dylan knows
And I bet Alan Freed did
There are things in night
That are better not to behold

You dance
With your lizard leather boots on
And pull the strings
That change the faces of men
You diamond-browed hag
You're a gutter-gaunt gangster
John Lennon knows your name
And I've seen his

Saturday, October 25, 2003

A Perfect Day for Bananafish

J.D. Salinger taught me something important.

Prof. Corum said in his lecture that the underlying message of Salinger's Nine Stories is that the only real form of happiness in the world hides in the world of children. The further into the adult world people slip, the less chance they have of ever achieving true happiness. Throughout the stories, which I think I'll like even more when I read them again, the characters try different methods of masking their dissatisfaction with life: alcohol, repression, and — most shockingly in the first story, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" — suicide. However, Salinger suggests one possible solution: to draw from another of his books, being the catcher in the rye — some wise adult who's there to help make the adult world seem just a bit less sinister to wide-eyed children. Boo Boo Tannenbaum does it in one story. She's the coolest mom ever. Boo Boo's brother, Seymore Glass, does it in "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," but he's the one who commits suicide immediately after when he realizes that the happiness he gives to kids is one he can't have.

I'm probably not a catcher in the rye for anyone. This is something I have to work on. But what did strike me is the notion of true happiness being the claim of children only. I agree.

Everything I've done to make myself a happy person has drawn me back to my childhood: my preoccupation with cartoons, my refusal to stop playing video games, the Walter Mitty daydreams, the movies I watch that have these boundlessly creative structures that defy traditional narrative conventions — more like a child's story than anything. Even my tendency to act like a selfish asshole — that's me as a kid, not considering other's feelings because I would rather I had been never taught to do that. It's funny to admit, but I honestly never want to grow up.

Ha. Look at me, typing away before I go to bed. I just realized I'm Doogie freaking Howser.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Say Yes — Say No

What turned out to be strep throat — not mono, thank God — kept me home all day. Jessica called and told me that Elliot Smith was dead. He stabbed himself in the heart.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Come Back, Mr. Messenger Pigeon!

My ineptitude has likely disqualified me from ever working at the Seattle Times.

So I'm emailing these various newspapers and asking them about how the summer intern application process works, and when I write to the lady in charge at the Seattle Times, I say something like "blah blah blah fourth year English student blah blah blah intern this summer at the Washington Post," because apparently Seattle made me think of Washington state and I said the wrong paper.

The consequences of this action:
  1. This lady is gonna think I'm a complete retard.
  2. Humor. It's funny that I would write the Seattle Times and ask for a job at the Washington Post. I might as well have asked them for a pie. "Dear Seattle Times. Make me a pie. I like pie. Do you like pie? P.S., I am not a lunatic."
  3. This follow-up letter:
Ms. Lesch:

I just mailed you asking about internships, but possibly because I was thinking about Washing state, I said I was interested in an internship at the Washington Post. I meant, of course, to say the Seattle Times.

Sorry about that.

Drew Mackie
Here's to summer school — and becoming an office snicker at a place I don't even work at.

Wicked

Take a little walk to the edge of town
Go across the tracks
Where the viaduct looms like a bird of doom
As it shifts and cracks
Where secrets lie in the border fires in the humming wires
Hey man, you know you're never coming back
Past the square, past the bridge,
past the mills, past the stacks
On a gathering storm comes a tall handsome man
In a dusty black coat with a red right hand

Finding Your Inner Grunge

kidicarus222: hey. grunge party this saturday at our house on pasado
kidicarus222: the 90s never ended
hpj16: how does one dress for that?
kidicarus222: flannel, ripped jeans
kidicarus222: beanie
kidicarus222: like you liv in seatlle in the early 90s
hpj16: i lived in a freakin' 3rd world country!!! i dont know how they dressed in seattle
kidicarus222: flannel, thermals, ripped jeans, beanies
kidicarus222: or like courtney love
kidicarus222: dress like courtney love
hpj16: oh ew
hpj16: do i have to show up stoned out of my mind?
kidicarus222: no
hpj16: or over meddicated?
kidicarus222: no
kidicarus222: they did a lot of heroin
kidicarus222: but we will skip that part
hpj16: ha ha. well i have plenty of ripped jeans. i think i threw out all my flannel years ago. maybe i can wear my flannel pj top
kidicarus222: there's the resourcefulness i've come to appreciate from phillipa jackson!
hpj16: damn straight! course i doubt anyone will be getting any booty dressed like we have to
hpj16: true. what are thermals?
kidicarus222: those long undershirts that people wear beneath their t-shirts
kidicarus222: the long sleeve kind
kidicarus222: they're usually white or gray
kidicarus222: i wear them a lot
hpj16: oh i have one!!!! i sleep in it!!! damn....i am totally grungy when i go to bed and i never knew!!
hpj16: i rock
kidicarus222: totally
kidicarus222: you are the lost member of nirvana
hpj16: i was nirvana before there even WAS nirvana.
hpj16: at the tender age of 10

Run Fay Run

Sitting in a dirty Mustang and listening to Isaac Hayes, I think the decades preceding the death of cool collapse and, truly, 2003 is 1975.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Queen of the Crime Council

As your leader, I encourage you from time to time (and always in a respectful manner) to question my logic. If you're unconviced a particular plan of action is the wisest, tell me so. But allow me to convince you and I promise, right here and now, no subject will ever be taboo — except, of course, the subject that was just under discussion. The price you pay for bringing up either my Chinese or American heritage as a negative is — I collect your fucking head.

Just like this fucker here.

Now if any of you sons of bitches got anything else to say, NOW'S THE FUCKING TIME!

I didn't think so.

— O-ren Ishii

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Made in India

<.warner>

I don't care what Nate says. The purple, pig-faced frog of India is cute. This little guy and Shobhna — that's two Indian imports I find cute.



(Something else I thought was cute)

The mini-keg I picked up today. It's the same proportions as a normal keg, just a bit more squatty. Cute and filled with alcohol is the best kind of cute.

Friday, October 17, 2003

The Big One

There was a big earthquake fourteen years, three hours, and twenty-seven minutes ago.

Everyone Deserves a Visit to the House of Blue Leaves

Thrice, as of the time of this writing.
When Uma Thurman's character steps into the House of Blue Leaves, a jumping Tokyo nightspot frequented by Yakuza thugs, she marks the beginning of a 20-minute stretch of action movie perfection. It's a choreographed, gory jaunt that filmmakers in the action genre will be scrambling to top for the next five years.

Thurman, a nameless blonde swordswoman in a motorcycle suit with a yellowjacket color scheme, slices through countless Yakuza, the mad schoolgirl Gogo Yubari (Chiaki Kuriyama) and the notorious crime boss Johnny Mo (Gordon Liu). Finally, hardly dazed by the preceding ordeal, she duels samurai-style with O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu), the queen of the Japanese underworld, in a serene snowfield.

The fight ends. White snow turns red. The audience gets up and leaves the theater, itching to see how the next half of "Kill Bill" will unfold.

"Kill Bill: Vol. 1" is a good movie. More than that, it's a flurry of sharp, shining metal that dazzles, boils the blood and satisfies the viewer more than any other movie in recent memory. "Kill Bill" combines popping visuals with an assured technical prowess befitting both the labels "film" and "flick" - terms usually on opposite ends of the cinematic spectrum.

The complaints against "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" however, are obvious.

First, Quentin Tarantino basically wrote a predictable, "Death Wish"-style revenge plot.

Second, dialogue steps aside for over-the-top blood and flashy fight scenes and staple elements from the kung fu, samurai, cowboy and blaxpolitation genres.

The entire spectacle is a big blowjob from and to Quentin Tarantino - until it ends with a blue balls-inducing cliffhanger.

And finally, like one poor Yakuza, this movie got cut in half.

And yet, as far as halves of movies go, "Kill Bill" is the best half-a-movie ever. Nobody should be watching this movie for its plot. Those fools should have gotten tickets to "Intolerable Cruelty" instead. No, "Kill Bill" merely throws perfectly timed punches with a flair unmatched by even Tarantino's earlier efforts. Appreciating "Kill Bill" means watching a movie in the truest sense of the word "watching."

The story is simple. For reasons likely disclosed in "Kill Bill: Volume Vol. 2," Thurman's character is attacked by her former fellow assassins on her wedding day. The groom dies; the bride goes into a coma. Once awake, she seeks out those who did her in. Between the spurts of blood, however, something deeper does exist. Given the minimal amount of dialogue, the actors commendably squeeze actual characters out of the script.

When Thurman's character wakes from a four-year-long coma, for example, her first reaction is to touch her temple where - as per her last memory - her boss, Bill (David Carradine) put a bullet. Her head clanks - a metal plate. The audience laughs. Immediately, Thurman then clutches her empty womb, where she had previously carried her unborn daughter. She screams in shock and anger. No one laughs.

It's this balance between violent, dark humor and realistic trauma that lends "Kill Bill" a certain emotional gravity. Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox) balances life as a happy homemaker and as an assassin. The result is both funny — Vernita trashes her lovely living room brawling with Thurman's character — and awful — the fight pauses only to allow Vernita's daughter through.

Tarantino characteristically makes the movie sound as good as it looks. The RZA's score punctuates the fight scenes well enough, but the real sonic virtue is the selection of already existing tracks to illuminate any given scene's mood. Nancy Sinatra's version of "Bang Bang" opens the film with an appropriate mood as the silhouetted body of the protagonist slowly fades into view. Sound effects work well, too. From the gurgling of blood to the crunch of Vernita's shattered living room, "Kill Bill" sounds good.

Anyone who can stomach eye-gouging, tomahawk-chucking, head-lopping violence should see "Kill Bill" in theaters. "Jackie Brown" came out six years ago, meaning that "Kill Bill" is the first chance most of us have to legally see a Tarantino spectacle on the big screen.

See "Kill Bill" and let the best half-a-movie ever tantalize you. Witness Tarantino's mastery of both the camera and your own bloodlust. Clench your fists. Grit your teeth. And get ready to open your wallet again in February.

After all, everyone deserves a visit to the House of Blue Leaves.
Katie: "O-Ren totally blew her top." And I think Beatrix is a lovely name.

The End of the Purple Shirt

I got dragged fifteen feet by a moving vehicle. It would almost be funny if I wasn't bleeding in so many places.

Miss Brown, you have no mercy.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Maturity

BLINK1233: whats up drew how are you?
kidicarus222: hey
BLINK1233: hello
kidicarus222: why are you sick, loser?
BLINK1233: because i am friends with a loser like you
kidicarus222: i hope you're sick because you have crotch rot
BLINK1233: nah i took care of that problem before school started
BLINK1233: its the herpes again. they are back an inflamed now
BLINK1233: there is a nice visual for you
kidicarus222: yeah, it totally killed the attraction of the porn i was looking at
BLINK1233: sorry... just focus on your computer and maybe the porn will regain its effectiveness
kidicarus222: right
kidicarus222: stop talking to me, herpina
BLINK1233: sorry king crotch rot!
kidicarus222: i like that
kidicarus222: call me KING CROTCH ROT!
BLINK1233: it almost sounds like a fairy tale character
kidicarus222: or... a superhero
kidicarus222: the adventures of king crotch rot and diptheria boy
kidicarus222: against evil queen herpina
BLINK1233: i think it would make a better disney story...where the evil king crotch rot tries to kidnap the princess
BLINK1233: of course the faithful servant herpina learns of this plot and she saves the day
kidicarus222: princess... princess lydia chlamydia
BLINK1233: yuck! lydia chlamydia sounds like the dirty kid nobody wanted to play with in grade school
kidicarus222: (you)
BLINK1233: or your mom
kidicarus222: your mom = ass cancer annie
BLINK1233: my mom is not ass cancer annie your dad is ass farting frank
kidicarus222: we should stop this before one of us cries
kidicarus222: (you)
BLINK1233: or your mom

Pumpkin Three-One-Four

kidicarus222: hi glenn
kidicarus222: hi
CAZephyr: the pi was good, thanks
kidicarus222: the pi?
kidicarus222: you enjoyed my 22/7?
CAZephyr: pumpkin ~22/7

"Pumpkin 3.14" sounds like an anime series.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Volume One

An afternoon with Quentin Tarantino.

Seriously, I blew the whole Friday afternoon watching "Kill Bill." Twice, whistling twisted nerves and all. I can't remember a cinematic experience that was so satisfying. I left a piece of me in the House of Blue Leaves — like so many hapless Yakuza — and I want my own personal Gogo Yuburi. I suppose I'll never know if blood really gushes out high-pressure like that, but just assuming the movies got it right is good enough for me. Simple and clean splatter, if such a thing could be.
Who's out:
No. Five: Copperhead.
No. Four: Cotton Mouth.

Who's left:
Viper No. Three: Sidewinder.
Viper No. Two: California Mountain Snake

And then there's Bill himself.
February is a ways away. I should make my own to-kill lists and leave them about the house in the meantime. Lucy Liu owns me, but eye patches can be sexy, too. Everything should come in two volumes.

Your Virtuous Tights

Media Gadfly speaks again:
Orson Welles' Alter-Ego: Discovery May Rewrite Comic Book to Film History... Or Not

It's a great time to wear tights, even if Orson Welles never thought so.

Since the success of 2002's "X-Men," which both earned subtle praise from critics and grossed $157,299,717 during its theatrical run, Hollywood has cast a kinder gaze upon the superhero.

Men with capes. Women in bodysuits. Explosions, gadgets and cackling supervillains. No wonder films detailing the heroic exploits of such heroes were regarded as mere live-action versions of Saturday morning cartoons. And disregarding Tim Burton's two Batman films and the first two Superman films, superhero films were just that. Case in point: 1984's head-scratching "Supergirl," 1989's dreadful "Punisher" or 1994's never-released "Fantastic Four."

But all this changed when "X-Men" proved that such films entertain at least as well as any James Bond spy flick. Hollywood stars like Halle Berry joined real actors like Ian McKellen and made a damn good movie. Suddenly, reputable directors began unabashedly scanning the Marvel and DC universe for the next blockbuster. Most notably, "Sense and Sensibility" director Ang Lee adapted Stan Lee's "The Incredible Hulk."

This plethora of gloved, superstrong thumbs raised approvingly upward coincides neatly with a recent rumor about Orson Welles' newly uncovered plans to direct a Batman film — back in 1946.

Comic book fanboys' ill-fitting pants got a little moister when Mark Millar, a columnist at Comicbookresources.com, reported Sept. 26 that a Welles biographer had stumbled across production notes for a Batman film that never made it to celluloid. According to the article, Welles, a well-known fan of superhero radio dramas like "The Shadow" and the brains behind the infamous "War of the Worlds" hoax, had seriously considered bringing the Caped Crusader to the big screen. Allegedly, Welles had even drawn interest from major stars of the 40s, casting James Cagney as the Riddler, Basil Rathbone as the Joker and Marlene Dietrich as Catwoman.

Disputes over whether the 31-year-old Welles could play Batman and Bruce Wayne ended the production, according to the report.

Fanboys went mad, ignoring the sheer incredibility of the whole story. Linking a cinematic visionary like Welles to a cult figure like Batman is like finding out Jodie Foster was the first choice for the lead in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Even Harry Knowles, the mound of sweaty red hair who runs the popular website Ain't It Cool News bought the story, writing, "To think of it. ... That in all the history books on Batman, that it was never mentioned, whispered or screamed at the top of their lungs. ... I'm stunned. Stunned."

It's simple, Mr. Knowles. Like Batman himself, the story is fiction. Dead for nearly 15 years, Welles can still pull off a good hoax.

Lionel Hutton, the alleged Welles biographer whom Millar mentioned, hides from even the all-seeing eye of Google. Besides, the Riddler doesn't start trouble in Gotham City until 1948 in Detective Comics #140. And would James Cagney ever play second fiddle to Basil Rathbone?

Nonetheless, Lionel Hutton (a soundalike for "Simpsons" shyster Lionel Hutz) got the best of even the people who know Batman best. But rather than fault the fanboys' gullibility, I think the hoax's success is instead indicative of the growing acceptance of superhero cinema.

Would anyone have believed the Orson Welles-Batman story 15 years ago, back when the word "superhero" conjured up images of Adam West and Lynda Carter? It's also debatable whether Welles would be at the reigns of a Batman film had he been a promising young filmmaker now instead of 50 years ago.

Nonetheless, "Memento" director Christopher Nolan, who is alive, recently began pre-production on a fifth Batman installment. Reputable actor Christian Bale has agreed to don the cape and cowl in the lead; meanwhile, X-Woman Halle Berry is set to slink around in an unrelated Catwoman film. Countless sequels and new franchises are scheduled to wham and bam on screens for years to come.

The superhero will guard the movie theater for a while yet — no hoax, I swear.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

The Secret Diary of Drew

It's approaching three o'clock and I'm all Fox Mulder "Trust No One" paranoia and George Constanza anxiety of worlds colliding. Everything is knotted up so tightly I wonder if Viola was wrong — even time itself could not undo all the snags and loops. Loop. That's a good word right now. Somehow, a paper on James Joyce's Dubliners will be written, but somehow I feel I've been double crossed when I logically know I haven't.

I think I would need a second, secret blog to write all this down. The Secret Diary of Drew. And then I would give it to some shut-in and we could Hardy Boys it back later.

Nothing's ever easy. Nothing's every simple. Nothing is as ever as basic as I think when I first look at it. Why can't I remember that?

kidicarus222: what makes me tick:
kidicarus222: pride
kidicarus222: insecurity
kidicarus222: a small chemical imbalance
kidicarus222: a healthy sex drive
kidicarus222: the journalistic pursuit of the truth
kidicarus222: james joyce
kidicarus222: gale weathers
kidicarus222: naomi watts
kidicarus222: david cross
kidicarus222: and
kidicarus222: the knowledge that i will leave the world a changed place when i die
kidicarus222: the nexus is just a monkey house i work at sometimes

I've tied these goddamn knots all by myself. Maybe they're keeping me whole. Maybe without my knots, my insides would be on the outside.
He turned his eyes to the grey, gleaming river, winding along towards Dublin. Beyond the river he saw a good train winding out of Kingsbridge Station, like a worm with a fiery head winding through the darkness, obstinately and laboriously. It passed slowly out of sight; but still he heard in his ears the laborious drone of the engine reiterating the syllables of her name.
Run all the way to the McKenzies' house.

From the Inside as Well

Friendster ate my free time. I've been on three days. Like blogs, some trends are worth the inherent indignity.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Turning Japanese

jessicaiscool143: today in my english class we were discussing punk and this film about the Sex Pistols and this guy in the class that was leading the group discussion ....are you ready...put a quote from your Nexus article up on the board. i was like yoo-hooo Drew rules but then i was like oh man does this mean that Drew has gone mainstream and that i should therefore reject him as a sell-out to consumerism and then i was like...jessica stop thinking

Of Luigi and Buttercup

kidicarus222: yeah, he's totally the underdog
kidicarus222: and green is better
baby b1ue eyes: I know. I like those underdogs. I'm really into green lately acutally. just, in general. i've started to fixate on people wearing green shirts.
kidicarus222: maybe you're horny
kidicarus222: green, you know?
baby b1ue eyes: possibly. if I eat green MnMs, but yesterday my pack had almost all red MnMs. something was wrong
kidicarus222: i wonder what red means
kidicarus222: probably
kidicarus222: like
kidicarus222: cancer or something
baby b1ue eyes: THANKS. now i'll be dead soon.
kidicarus222: or maybe like
kidicarus222: love
kidicarus222: or something good
baby b1ue eyes: yeah, cancer is more like it.
baby b1ue eyes: :-)
kidicarus222: cancer, love... really just two words for the same thing
baby b1ue eyes: did you vote for ahnold?
kidicarus222: no
kidicarus222: i voted for bustamante, even though i felt i should have been voting for camejo
baby b1ue eyes: I didn't vote. I'm bad. especially since I go to berkeley.
kidicarus222: very bad
baby b1ue eyes: yeah, ahnold scares me. I hope he doesn't try to be all republican. I hope his wife beats him with a large stick if he does
kidicarus222: his wife? bones mcshriver?
baby b1ue eyes: yep, skeleton.
baby b1ue eyes: it's weird, but for some reason they kind of look alike, have you ever noticed that?

Run, Sarah Connor, Run

I leave the Nexus office just as Tuesday becomes Wednesday, twelve chiming bells and all. I did the opinion page all by myself for the first time, yet I'm going to wake up with a new governor — one made of metal and circuits.

Monday, October 06, 2003

No Palm Trees, No Surfboards and About a Mile From the Ocean

The truth. Someone had to tell it.
The Artful Dodger: Hollister Co. Shirts Endorse Earthquakes, Mediocrity

After the towers at the World Trade Center fell, people everywhere started wearing those "I Heart NY" shirts. Even if they didn't live in the Big Apple, the shirts helped them feel like they were supporting a worthy cause. I understand this.

But why the fuck do people wear T-shirts with my hometown's name?

I am from Hollister, Calif. Hollister, the seat of San Benito County, is a small community that sprung up around the area's once-booming agricultural business. Its neighbors include Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world, and Salinas, the "Salad Bowl of the World." Hollister once tried to tout itself as the earthquake capital of the world to boost tourism interest, but this poorly thought-out moniker just frightened people away. Now, mostly, Hollister serves as a bedroom area for Silicon Valley commuters.

We have lots of apricots, a Target, this one Marlon Brando movie about us, a high teenage pregnancy rate and that's about it.

So why the fuck, I repeat, would anyone wear Hollister brand T-shirts?

I see people strutting around campus everyday with shirts, hats, and visors bearing the name "Hollister." The most egregious offenders are the ones referring to the Hollister Surf Company. Believe me, the city lies a full hour's drive from the beach. There's isn't a goddamn surf company.

Since the Hollister brand - a subdivision of the equally irksome Abercrombie & Fitch line - has grown in popularity during my time at college, even the responses to my explanation of where I'm from have changed accordingly.

Before, people would wrinkle their noses and say, "Oh, yeah. I think I've driven by the exit on the 101," or "Hey! That's close to Gilroy! Can you smell the garlic from there?" Now, I get, "Oh! Like the clothes company!" Yes, you douche bag, exactly like the clothes company. In fact, I make all the clothes myself.

Truthfully, when Abercrombie & Fitch named the Hollister line, they might not have completely missed the mark. While my Hollister couldn't have less to do with surfing or fashion, a man named Colonel W.W. Hollister drove a flock of sheep across the North American continent in the late 1800s, naming things after himself left and right. Incredibly, a string of even lesser Podunks named Hollister dot the nation; less incredibly, Santa Barbara County's own Hollister Avenue got its name from the same self-important trailblazer.

Thus, wearing the Hollister name on your clothes endorses both a dead, eponym-crazy shepherd and a truly mediocre town. Take my word for it: You can be a shameless, walking billboard for a much more reputable clothing company than the Hollister Company.

Daily Nexus assistant opinion editor Drew is sponsoring a bonfire for unwanted Hollister apparel.

Fake Words TV Has Taught Me

  • opinionation
  • perpittity
  • bitzelcocker (disagreeable vagabond)
  • persefunctant
  • acribits (an action stock markets can take)
  • kwyjibo (a big, bald North American ape)
  • embiggen (to make bigger)
  • cromulent (valid)
  • pathetisad
  • sarcastabitch
  • vondruke
  • spooknife (spoon-knife)
  • kniffoon (knife-spoon)
  • comfortador (not a conquistador)
  • crelbow (the spot on your arm opposite your elbow)
And who says TV rots your brain?

Saturday, October 04, 2003

He's a Japanese Boy

I don't know who Aneka is, but her fucking song is stuck in my head like a dagger to the skull.
He said that he loved me — never would go
Now I find I'm sitting here on my own
Was it something I said or done?
That made him pack his bags up and run
Could it be another he's found?
It's breaking up a happy home

Mister, can you tell me where my love has gone?
He's a Japanese boy
I woke up one morning and my love was gone
Oh my Japanese boy
Oh — I miss my Japanese boy

People ask about him every day
Don't know what to tell them what can I say
If only he would write me or call
A word of explaination — that's all
It would stop me climbing the wall
It's breaking up a happy home

Mister, can you tell me where my love has gone?
He's a Japanese boy
I woke up one morning and my love was gone
Oh my Japanese boy
Oh — I miss my Japanese boy

Was it something I said or done
That made him pack his bags up and run?
Could it be another he's found?
He's breaking up a happy home

Mister can you tell me where my love has gone?
He's a Japanese boy
I woke up one morning and my love was gone
Oh my Japanese boy

Mister can you tell me where my love has gone?
He's a Japanese boy
I woke up one morning and my love was gone
Oh my Japanese boy

Aisle of Thea Tease.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Stay Up Late

Twenty minutes into Writing for Economics, God smiled on me; the Girvetz Hall fire alarm started ringing. Ringing? Maybe not. Beeping, like from the world's biggest cell phone. We all shuffled outside.

Now fire drills have long gone the way of Ducktales and video games employing vegetable-chucking as a mode of self-defense. But nonetheless, I felt like I should be lining up single file. But I gotta hand it to Dr. Behrens. He's two quarters away from retirement and lecturing to a bunch of kids who would rather chew cement than learn about the etiquette of business writing. Beyond this considerable hurdle, he also has us standing outside under a tree in the courtyard. This tree is dripping rotten berries and there's birds and flies everywhere, plus no one's answered the giant cell phone and a fire engine's pulled up and there's flashing lights and firemen and mostly everybody else has given up trying to conduct any kind of edumatory procedure. And here's softspoken Dr. Behrens, lecturing like he's in a primo learning environment, showing us examples of model business plans.

Let's hear it for dedicated educators.

Mister Manners

Judith Martin, meet Kristen's little brother.

escalift: i hope my away message today went on the cereal box
kidicarus222: i haven't seen it
kidicarus222: put it back up
escalift: ok, hang on a second
kidicarus222: NOW!
kidicarus222: who is miss manners?

Auto response from escalift: picking up miss manners at the airport

kidicarus222: i need clarification
kidicarus222: clarify!
escalift: she has a syndicated advice column originating in the washington post and running in hundreds of newspapers around the country. she tells america how rude it is, and the proper way to cut brie at parties
kidicarus222: i know
kidicarus222: you're picking up THE miss manners?
escalift: i picked her up already
escalift: pick yourself up off the floor!
escalift: (i was excited too)
kidicarus222: what?
kidicarus222: how?
kidicarus222: why?
escalift: she's giving a lecture to all the republican assholes on campus tonight on "the state of culture" and someone i vaguely know happened to mention he was supposed to go pick her up
escalift: so i begged and pleaded to go along
kidicarus222: what was she like?
escalift: she was politely distant
escalift: i asked her how the flight was, and all she did was press her lips together and raise her eyebrow and go, "mmh..."
kidicarus222: did she say anything bitchy?
escalift: and then i asked her if she wanted a cookie (my mother baked them herself, i said), and she just said, "oh goodness, no thank you!" and she chuckled
escalift: nothing especially bitchy
escalift: although i thought her response to my first question was a little cold
kidicarus222: yeah, me and my roommates that that was cold too
kidicarus222: i am narrating this to them
escalift: i'm thinking about going to her lecture tonight. when we dropped her off at her hotel she said, "thank you so much for the ride. i expect i'll be seeing you at the conference?"
escalift: and we stood there and said, "uh..."
escalift: as if to say, "we're not really the asshole type."
escalift: but i might go just to see all the assholes in action
escalift: and there's a rumor that after the first event of the conference every year, the professor who runs all this takes everyone--students, faculty, alums--over to the lord jeff and gets them shitfaced at the bar
escalift: i doubt it's completely true but i want to see what the truth is
escalift: and if it is the truth, i want to run up a big tab because i've never met this professor but all i ever hear about him is what a massive fucking tool he is and how much he shouldn't be allowed to teach. he testified before a senate subcommittee in defense of the defense of marriage act. people like to say that about him a lot
kidicarus222: my roommate wears jammies
escalift: mine too
escalift: our roommates are such adorable little boys
kidicarus222: yes
escalift: so... end of this conversation, i guess
kidicarus222: yes

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Centering

Govinda bowed low. Incontrollable tears trickled down his old face. He was overwhlemed by a feeling of great love, of the most humble veneration. He bowed low, right to the ground, in front of the man sitting there motionless, whose smile reminded him of everything that he had ever loved in his life, if everything that had ever been of value and holy in his life.
— Herman Hesse, Siddharta

I Remember Susie Derkins

Props to Cory for the tagline.
The Artful Dodger: Just Try to Ignore the Talking Pavement

"You know this isn't wrong." The pavement near the edge of the 6600 block of Pasado Road told me so.

If I'm not mistaken, this mysterious message of reassurance became part of the Isla Vista landscape when some pro-war local spray-painted it on the street in response to anti-war protests last spring. Substitute "the invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Hussein's regime" for "this" and the message makes a whole lot more sense.

However, after skating over these words every time I visit I.V. Theater or the Bagel Cafe, I've realized they represent the worst kind of graffiti: the ambiguous kind. Passing months have shuffled news of American involvement in Iraq off the top of the news page, thus rendering the graffiti completely meaningless. Really, to what could "You know this isn't wrong" refer? Cannibalism? The vandalism itself?

"You know this isn't wrong" poses a worse threat to I.V. residents than mere confusion, however. Taken out of its political context, the graffiti blindly grants permission to all manner of wrongdoing. The casual passerby considering the innate morality of, for instance, skipping class or stealing a bagel, could easily let that smooth-talking Pasado Road goad them into a life of crime. And hooky and bagel filching are the least of the pavement graffiti's evil temptations.

You know it isn't wrong to sniff glue and drive a forklift.

You know it isn't wrong to get drunk and go down on your roommate.

You know it isn't wrong to steal babies and sell them to barren couples.

You know it isn't wrong to feed the body to the fish in the Storke Plaza pond.

You know it isn't wrong to unplug that machine that's been keeping your aunt alive.

And really, who could blame these potential wrongdoers? The odds of meeting a talking road are small enough that the odds of meeting a talking, lying road are nearly nil.

Granted, the people poised to decide whether to unplug the machine or where to hide the body should maybe incorporate the council of other sources into their decision, but if ever any town needed graffiti against sinful indulgences, it's this den of debauchery called I.V.

Perhaps a stern warning against such no-nos could better serve residents. Imagine how "What would your mother think?" scrawled where Del Playa Drive meets the UCSB campus could deter an unwary freshmen girl from dressing like a midsummer night's hooker when it's midwinter weather out. A shrewdly placed "Get that out of your mouth - you don't know where it's been" could preemptively halt much drunken I.V. sex. And "You're gonna be sick tomorrow morning" could convince a strolling reveler to maybe forgo that last red cup of Natty Lite.

Nonetheless, Pasado Road continues to give a bug thumbs-up to anybody with an ethical dilemma. Until some wholesome-minded individual replaces "You know this isn't wrong," we must continue to ponder its implications.

Pasado's misinformation will continue unabated.

"You know this isn't wrong" — Flagstaff really is the capital of Arizona. "You know this isn't wrong" — gnomes really do cause earthquakes. "You know this isn't wrong" — I.V.'s roads really do talk and dispense advice.


Daily Nexus assistant opinion editor Drew wishes to extend a heartfelt apology to UCSB facilities management for his irresponsible use of their forklift.