Monthly Archives: November 2003


manhunt.jpgRockstar’s new game Manhunt features you in an enclosed ghetto called Cancer City in a kill-or-be-killed showdown orchestrated by a psycho movie director who constantly whispers orders into your ear. Execution methods include plastic bag suffocation, crowbars and guns – lots of guns. This reminds me of that awesome faux reality series, The Contenders. Is it possible to comment on violence and our captivation with human suffering without showing it – without exploiting it? The ‘outraged’ have started a bill in California to ban sales of violent video games to minors and separate them from the non-violent games (are there non-violent games?). I’m sure this will be vetoed by Wal-Mart anyway. Of course, there’s no stats to support or refute the claims made by the proponents of the legislation. If my kid spent my money on his violent video games – I’d be damned sure I’m seeing what he comes home with. Something Americans will probably never understand is that what you resist – you create. Our sex and violence soaked mediasphere is because these topics and learning about them is forbidden. Most other countries gave up years-decades-centuries ago trying to outlaw sexual and violent content. You wanna outlaw violent content? Bring the troops home. Tear up the contracts. Let’s focus on life inside these United States before we go creating new ones.

To be honest – I just loved the screenshot. Here’s more of them.


I can’t sleep so I thought I’d post some of the blog entries languishing on
my laptop:

(November 17th) I figured out an easy way to do a backup of my desktop. Just
transfer the entire My Documents folder onto my laptop. I kept forgetting that
I have a D drive on here – that the hard drive is partitioned into half.

The honeymoon is over with the new job. I’m going to have to try more passive-agressive
approaches to get estimates on deadlines. I’ve never understood that – if it
is going to be done on Friday then just say so. If not, then don’t. It just
seems so illogical. And these are computer people.

Took a nap after work. Ron’s at the gym. I’m here at Borders. The Caribou across
from me was full.

Had a good lunch with Brigitte on Sunday. I still have not hired a coach yet.
I really need to do that. I was intimating to brigitte how I am sour on theatre
and performing arts right now. That when was the last time a play was important?
When was the last time a play got thrown out of a theatre festival. The economics
of theatrical production are the art form’s ultimate undoing. Performers, technicians
and staff have to be paid. Rent has to be paid. Royalties have to be paid. Attention
has to be paid. And then you have marketing – the unseen cost of production
that amateurs never really think all that much about. And then you have to get
people to pay upwards of $20 a ticket just to break even. So then you’re thrown
into a demographic of people that love to pay for theatre and a night on the
town but don’t feel all great about watching a play that is challenging. I’m
just making excuses aren’t I? With the advent of television and the internet
and radio – theatre is no longer a mass media. It used to be the best way to
teach or entertain a mas sof people – that’s why the church used theatre pageant
wagons in the medieval era to teach scripture to the illiterate. I look at the
impact that Michael Moore’s documentary had on the country and I got chills
just talking to Brigitte about The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – a film
so controversial it was thrown out of Amnesty International Canada’s film festival.
I think the lesson I’m learning is that you have to be controversial. You have
to be renegade. Like what if mom got some kind of revolutionary bee in her bonnet
and made a handwoven rug that put cut up credit cards and pictures of third-world
sweat shops together. I wish I’d thought of the work of this guy – he uses diagrams
of economic, political and social power structures as his art.

There is a such a handsome guy that works here at Borders. And I saw him smoking
once so even if Ron and I had some sort of cataclysmic falling out – I’d ignore
him – I’ll never date another smoker again. That’s one of the main reasons Ron
and I don’t live together yet. I absolutely refuse to have even the faint afterstench
of cigarette smoke in my living space. And he knows that that is one of my few
deal-breakers. I’m not going to watch him slowly embalm himself with cigarettes.
He’s asian or polynesian and has dark skin and a full set of tattoos on each
muscled arm. They remind me of the polynesian tattoos that The Rock just got
as part of his heritage. Yeah – this guy is basically Ron with tattoos. Though
I don’t want Ron to get any. I think I should be the tattooed one and he’s the
ethnic one. That sounds so shallow.

Had a good workout this morning. Took melatonin last night and slept really
heavy. It was nice. Trying to not burn myself out at the beginning of this week
like I seem to lately. Making Monday and Tuesday the crazy days and then being
numbed out by Wednesday. I focused more today on organizing the work for the
rest of the week.

Ron’s was a basketcase all weekend because his mother was traveling. She has
to have dialysis a couple times a week and Ron is always concerned about her
being delayed when traveling. “She’s so stubborn and she just waits to
the last minute with everything.” I gently chide if he recognizes that
same behaviour in himself. He smiles weakly and says, “Of course not!”
I should have known something was up – he’d been grinding his teeth for two
days beforehand. It’s his stress barometer. I know that if he grinds his teeth
in his sleep but says that everything is just fine that he’s lying. He gives
himself away. His mom missed a connecting flight and essentially didn’t get
to his sister’s until late that night. And she didn’t call any of the siblings
with updates. He’d even given her my cellphone just in case and Ron had me checking
it every 15 minutes. He bought her a cellphone yesterday to put on his plan
and is sending it to her today. You and I both know that she won’t carry the
phone around, “I don’t want to lose it,” she’ll say. It’s so funny
what makes us come unglued. For Ron, it is any threat of unknowing about his

Come on Ron, where are you? I’m getting hungry.

I got my sister a great Christmas present. I wish I knew what to get mom and
dad. “Just you guys flying home is enough for me,” is what they always
say and we are all ultra-conscious of giving crap we don’t need. I’d rather
just have a set of cardboard boxes that I have to fill with stuff to give away
instead of taking more things. Part of my goal for the new year is to cut my
personal possessions in half. Just get rid of all the stuff – reduce my footprint
of gatherings on the planet. The feeling of having more space than you need
is such a nice contentment – I want more of that.

I really sort of bounced back from yesterday. I had an overwhelming sandess
yesterday afternoon. I just wanted to lay in bed and stare – always a bad sign.
So I laid in bed for an hour or so and then went out with Ron. I felt better
today. I tried to get out today and walk around while the sun was out. I’d love
to find some carpentry plans to build a big full-spectrum light box. Instead
of a framed picture – have a big lightbox on the wall. I think that that would
be cool to hafve in a living space – or make faux skylights.

I still have to get my ass to the optometrist – I haven’t had contacts for
about 1 month and a half. I dragged out that last set for a long time.

Honey where are you – I’m about to get the hungry-bitchies. He’s probably not
going to check his voicemail and then think that I’m still asleep and go directly
to my place while I’m about 200 feet from the gym right now.

Those new Bank One commercials just annoy the shit out of me. Every since they
stopped taking deposits at their ATMs for non-Bank One customers I’ve been bitter.
I live right across from a Bank One.

I’m really proud of Ron – he paid off one of his credit cards today. He really
wanted to get an LCD panel but I think his friends got to him and convinced
him to TCB before the LCD.

I know I’m being a selfish yuppie, but I just think that wireless internet
conections in cafes should be free. I can’t believe this T-Mobile bullshit is
$30 a month. That is just bullshit. I think that that is crazy.

(November 15) There is something endearing in watching someone you love sleep.
I think of seeing my mom cat nap in the middle of another smut novel or my dad
leaned back in Old Smeller (his version of Archie Bunker’s armchair) or my sister
with her glasses still on with a huge Frank Herbert novel. Or right now with
Ron at my right. I guess it is because the person seems at such peace. And completely
vulnerable and unconscious of the waking world. Ron asleep reminds me of my
sheer aesthetic attraction to asian men and women. The facial structure so much
simpler and cleaner than a european-based amalgam of brows and chins and cheeks.
The ‘almond-lidded’ eyes and black eyelashes making perfect elliptical compliment
to the black eyebrows. The darker skin tone not revealing a caucasian’s scars
and pores.

Then he grinds his teeth. I do what my mom used to do with my dad and shake
the bed by moving my body back and forth until he wakes up briefly.

I still don’t feel like I’ve adjusted to the time change. That and I realized
two days ago that I’d forgotten to take Zoloft for nearly a week and a half.
I’m settling into the job a little more each week.

It sounds like it’s raining outside.

(November 23) I have this habit that at the 23rd of every month I do a check
in to see what’s happened since my birthday on April 23rd. I’m on the train
going downtown to see Unprecendented at the Gene Siskel FIlm CEnter. It’s a
documentary about the rigged election in Florida in 2000. Kevin and I are going
– I think it’ll be great fun. Saw Mierka’s show last night – a company downtown
had produced it. It re-reminded me of so much and how moved I was by her show
everytime I see her tell of her battle with multiple sclerosis. Ron is out for
three days bouncing between Baltimore, Orlando and Chicago.

I seem to have these weekly dives into doldrums. I get all hopeless and just
need to lay in bed for a few hours. Sometimes I think it’s just the usual depression
and mood swings and that I am getting better at bouncing back quicker from what
I am feeling. Other times I think that I’m just growing up and getting used
to the idea that this is a paranoid crazy bullshit world and there isn’t much
anyone can do about it. Then my inner hippy identifies the defeatist talk. Maybe
the purpose of the performing arts is to change the performers – not necessarily
the audience.

Caught myself watching Cheaters last night. Good God what a terrible show.
Yeah – the concept is heinous and it is captivating to watch people’s lives
fall apart in front of you but at the same time the host is such an incredible
dickhead. I mean he’s really awful. The way he tries to frame arguments when
spouse and cuckold meet.

Alrighty – I’m now at Borders downtown. I swear to God they used to have a
larger top floor but then realized that’s the one closer to Chicago Avenue.

Just had a Gordita at Taco Bell – it has been years since I’ve eaten at Taco
Bell. Camped out in the Renaissance Hotel now. One thing I learned over the
years of family travel to exhibit at various art shows is the inevitable trust
hotel staff have of you. I am just hanging ou there in the lobby for the next
half hour or so. Even have an outlet for my laptop. I’ve done this a couple
times since I moved to Chicago. Hotels have open lobbies and helpful staff ready
to answer any questions. Need to know where to go for dinner? Just walk into
a nearby hotel. Plus, their wireless access is up as well.

How Niggardly of You

In the ever escalating war to castrate the English language of any relevance, usefulness or accuracy comes this little treat:

The County of Los Angeles has requested that equipment vendors avoid using the industry term “Master/Slave” in product descriptions and labelling.

To the tech geeks out there this is nothing new. Master/slave refers to when one device controls another and is used in lots of hardware documentation. As is the idea of male/female plugs.

How fucking retarded.

And yes – I do mean retarded. As in slow to wit. As in not realizing the greater worldview of a single concept. Not as in someone with actual mental cognition difficulty or other differently abled disability.

I mean fucking retarded.

I’m all for ditching the term Orientals or coloreds. Or referring to the mid-East as Mid-East Asia.

But this total ignorance of the English language – as well as the ignorance of technical concepts and procedures – and a blindness to that ignorance is just so goddamned stupid.

Interview with the Assassin

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of America losing it’s perennial innocence, I rented Interview with the Assassin. It’s a documentary about an old guy that claims to have been the second gunmen in Dealey Plaza – the one behind the grassy knoll that fateful Dallas day. If you’re a conspiracy buff like I am, you’ll really enjoy this one – has a couple chilling moments and reminds me of Blair Witch Project in the pacing of slow suspense (though without Blair Witch’s non-ending ending).

Toppling a Regime


See, these protesters got it right. The press only pays attention to spectacle – especially when they don’t like your point of view. Signs and chanting don’t get noticed anymore. This is fantastic because it is non-destructive as well as iconic, ironic and metaphoric as well. Cheers, to those across the pond!

La La La I Can’t Hear You

Add to the piece about hiding the caskets:

Media seeking to cover a [soldier]’s funeral found themselves limited by
new Pentagon regulations that went into effect on Thursday. The new guidelines
state that “reporters are no longer permitted to stand at the rear of the
mourners during the service,” and microphones “are not permitted ? anywhere
near the grave site.” The Pentagon says it is merely trying to protect the
privacy of the families of the fallen soldiers. But the new rules have some
reporters wondering whether it is just the latest move by the Bush administration
to limit
coverage of casualties of the war
in Iraq.

American officials are demanding an
exclusion zone
round the president, while the London mayor wants to keep
the city as “open as possible”. Police are planning a ?4m security operation
to cope with an estimated 100,000 anti-war protesters.

It’s a Little Late for Balls

I’m pretty annoyed at Al Gore’s recent ‘heroics’ and speaking out on policy. Now that he’s not a candidate for president. Where the hell where you when the Florida election got scammed? Where the hell where you when the PATRIOT Act was given midnight revisions and slammed into law? Where hell where you when we approved the Bush Doctrine?

And now he wants kudos and applause and all of us to care about him – after he pisses away an election opportunity where he was running against a man with the intelligence of a sweet potato.

It’s a little late for this bullshit.