Jan 31, 2007

Yet Another Reason not to Wrestle

No, I'm not talking about the parade of stereotypes that draws in adolescent white males every year to the strange sport of wrestling. I wish it were that simple.

You can read this article by clicking on this sentence, or you can just help yourself to my own humorous musings over this story.

Apparently, high school wrestling in Minnesota has been canceled because of an outbreak of - and I kid you not - a type of herpes called Herpes Gladiatorum" among male wrestlers.

-- commonly known as mat herpes because wrestlers are particularly susceptible -- is caused by contact with the same common herpes simplex virus that produces cold sores.

A rash on the face or upper body is sometimes accompanied by itchiness, fever and sore throat, and it can cause blindness if it reaches the eyes. Some victims suffer recurring bouts throughout their lives.

A spokeswoman for the American College of Sports Medicine said it was putting together a public education campaign about how to spot and contain outbreaks.Herpes gladiatorum -- commonly known as mat herpes because wrestlers are particularly susceptible -- is caused by contact with the same common herpes simplex virus that produces cold sores.

A rash on the face or upper body is sometimes accompanied by itchiness, fever and sore throat, and it can cause blindness if it reaches the eyes. Some victims suffer recurring bouts throughout their lives.

A spokeswoman for the American College of Sports Medicine said it was putting together a public education campaign about how to spot and contain outbreaks.

Okay, so it's not a sexual type of herpes, so I'm partially saddened, but, hey, at least it's a trifle bit more hilarious than the bombs in Boston, eh?

Jan 30, 2007

Jon Stewart and "Obamania!"

I just watched a video on Crooks and Liars regarding the way FOXNews reported the "outing" of Barack Obama's childhood going to school at a Madrassa - Arab for "school" - when he was young.

As stated above, "Madrassa" means school. He JUST WENT TO A SCHOOL, people! It's downright sinister the way that right-leaning media sources are painting Obama, don't you think?

EditRed - My Writer's Community

I've joined a writers' community, and it's pretty awesome. It's free to join and upload stories. If you're an aspiring writer or you just want to get some feedback from other people, then EditRed might be the way to go.

You can get to my site by going to www.editred.com/tblakebraddy


by just clicking here.

Jan 29, 2007

First Impressions Really Do Matter

I'm not going to be an advocate for Senator Hillary Clinton here, but don't you think that there is some room for opinions of her to change? I mean, everyone thinks - or still thinks - that she's the harbinger of mistrust that she was SEVEN YEARS AGO! She may very well be, but that doesn't mean that everyone should just naturally assume that she's an evil person. Opinions are malleable; they can change from time to time.

Personally, I don' think that Senator Clinton should be the Democratic candidate for president, but that's mainly because I don't believe in Dynastic politics. And, I don't think she's the right candidate for president.

However, my opinion can change over the next two years, you know? I have an open mind, and, right now, it seems as though my opinion of Rudy Giuliani might change as well. I've never agreed with the idea that a mayor of New York City should be the President of the United States of America, but I like some of his social policies. He's pro-life and pro-gay rights, so that's something I admire. But do I think he still has an underhanded side? Sure, I do. Does that make him unfit to be our next leader? No, not necessarily.

It's just that so many people dislike Hillary Clinton from so long ago that they hardly remember why. And, I'm going to be the first to give a reason why. Part of it is because she's a strong, feminist woman. Men, especially white, conservative men, don't believe women have a place in the world's order. Look at the way people thought of Eleanor Roosevelt. She had many detractors over the years. But most people don't even know why they disliked her.

I think that may be the same case with Hillary Clinton. They have knee-jerk reactions of her, and that's that. That's all they can stand of her. It's not all that simple, but I do think that it plays a small part in it. If you dislike her and have other reasons why, I'll be more than happy to hear them.

Other ones I would anticipate:

Her Health Care Plan was whack. And it was.
She just looks so damned underhanded.
She was involved in the Clinton White House.

And on and on.


Today I took a half day from work to try to get some job-search-related-sort-of-stuff done, and, as always, I foolishly checked Craigslist for job openings in my area.

First of all, it's a waste of time, because self-respecting employer ever posts anything there. If they do, it's always the first thing to go. And the legitimate offerings are covered in all directions by MAKE 100K FROM HOME!!!! 12K/MONTH FROM HOME!!! sorts of postings, and the real jobsters lose out.

Well, anyway, I got bored with looking at jobs and saw the little box with "Personals" as the heading. I'd never really paid attention to them, but I saw one which intrigued me right off the bat.

It's called "Casual Encounters." Now, I didn't want to invalidate the sort of privacy these people want - althought that accounts for very little - but I was curious to see what sort of people get on there.

One lady said that she wasn't looking for "white guys" because she needed something a little bigger than normal, and I'm not talking about ego.

It's not my thing, but apparently it's working for some people in the bigger cities. The "Athens" one, of course, is paltry and weird, and even it has the spam postings, with bogus pictures promising "sex talk" and such.

I swear, the internet is getting out of hand.

Jan 27, 2007

Fascism in America

Pretty please, watch this. It seems that perhaps Democrats and Republicans have traded places, as the "Conservative" Bob Novak almost actually supported his fellow conservative, Frank Zappa, in the piece, and now Republicans would not support free speech whatsoever, especially when talking about The War in Iraq.

But, I'm so glad that the country did not continue down the path of censorship. It's not everyday that I think of how free I truly am to say whatever I want without fear of repercussions. Thank your lucky stars that the Dems didn't win that battle in 1986.

Frank Zappa supports - or supported - an absolutist take on free speech, especially in the media. And why not? In America, doesn't the fabled "Marketplace of Ideas" really win? Do really unpopular ideas win? Did the morons on the show, especially Bob Novak, not realize how unConstitutional it was to say that it should be limited? Is incest hatespeech?

I understand that not all speech is protected, but I think that defending those positions is a very slippery slope. How far can one go before speech becomes libel? Or Slander? Penn Jillette can call people motherfuckers or assholes as often as he pleases on his show, but to call them "lying assholes" is crossing the line somehow?

I guess, though in some instances I can agree that speech can be rightfully limited. That is, in very limited instances can speech itself be prohibited, though I find it hard to believe that anyone has a definite, clear idea of when speech becomes unconstitutional.

What are your thoughts on this?

I found a website called The Real First Amendment?, in which the limitations are explained "with fine print." It fits somewhere in this argument, but doesn't fine print lead to some kinds of activism on the parts of lawmakers and judges?

Jan 26, 2007

Hulk Hogan Beats up Joey Ramone

Just kidding. This is Richard Belzer. The "Commenters" on YouTube say that Richard Belzer is such an intellectual and that he's intellectually manipulating the two of them, but I seem to notice that he's just breaking the fourth wall.


He did hit his head pretty damned hard on the ground. And, since Belzer got a French Villa out of the whole thing, I'd say he's okay. I'd take a bump on the head for a house in France.

Hunter S. Thompson is my Hero. And Book Catalogues.

Okay, so it's not that simple. I'm on a huge HST kick right now, even though I've only read one of his books.

That's gonna change. I have a few in my Amazon Wish List, and they're the next books I'm going to buy.

Hunter S. Thompson represents a strange dynamic in the American spectrum of politics. He's an enigma, a paradox, because he is (or was) simultaneously truthful about what is going on in America, the absolute power corrupting absolutely part of it, and he was also a borderline drug addict, if not an addict outright.

He believed in the power of experimenting with his third eye, using mind and mood altering drugs to get him where he wanted to go. But he also understood the limits - sometimes - and I put him in a similar place - in my mind at least - as Bill Hicks, who was also kind of a visionary, an idealist, who used drugs and alcohol to sort of cut away all that smugness we hold about ourselves in this world.

Because neither Hicks nor Hunter S. Thompson could stomach the idea that these people, the politicians, were anything but corrupt. They saw through it, and we laugh at their opinions sometimes because of what they believed, that they would actually call a spade a spade, you know?

Like, I enjoy politics a great deal, and yet I fall into the same rhythmns as everyone else, talking about politicians as if they truly acted on anything even remotely heartfelt. They might have passions, but look at what happened the last time a president had a passion for something: we get a disaster in Iraq, a blow-job in the oval office (and the subsequent lying about it), No New Taxes, Iran-Contra, Grenada, etc.

But moving on.

Also, tonight in BORDERS, I saw a book by Nick Hornby which I thought was interesting. It's more or less an adventure in reading. So I thought, "Why not co-opt that?"

Well, sort of. I'm going to try to keep a conscious list of all of the books I buy and read, and my particulare thoughts on them at the time. Maybe it'll rock, and perhaps it will suck. Either way, I'm doing it.

What I'm reading right now:

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby.

What's up next:

You Suck! by Christopher Moore

After that? DOn't know. Oh, and, by the way, this is totally not what Hunter S. Thompson sat around doing, cataloguing his damned book collection. But, then again, I guess I'm not Hunter S. Thompson. I'd rather write about living the crazy life than actually go out and do it. I may be wrong, but that seems to be the allure of Mr. Thompson.

Jan 19, 2007

Yacht Rock

The internet might just be what causes the downfall of America. My friend and compadre Johnny told me about the "Yacht Rock" stuff on YouTube a while back, but I haven't had the chance to watch any of the episodes. Well, tonight I did, and the one posted below is my favorite so far. Check it out.

For those who don't know, Yacht Rock is based on the music of smooth artists of the eighties, such as Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. The episodes are low-budget enough but they're still pretty remarkably funny.

Here's a quote from the Wikipedia page:

n the musical sense, yacht rock refers to the highly polished brand of soft rock that emanated from Southern California during the late '70s and early '80s. In part, the term relates to the stereotype of the yuppie yacht owner, enjoying champagne and smooth music while out for a sail. Additionally, since sailing was a popular leisure activity in Southern California, many "yacht rockers" made nautical references in their lyrics and album artwork, particularly the anthemic track "Sailing" by Christopher Cross.

If you didn't really grow up in the eighties, this sort of thing is kind of hard to describe. But if you did, then you totally get the humor in the show.

Ta-Da! (With Nekkidness)

I work at a bookstore. A used bookstore. We buy books from students, but we also buy books from what I like to call "rogue sellers" - people who buy textbooks from various places and sell them to our establishment.

Well, today I was selling a set of books from another place and saw a writing book I thought I might like. I'm a writer (or want to be one) and and a bibliophile, so seeing books about writing usually pique my interest.

Boy, am I glad about that.

So I pick up one of the copies - one of the more pristine copies, which is so ironic - and begin to flip through, looking for sections I thought might help me in my quest to get published.

About halfway in, I see a foreign object and pull it out. Actually, it was two things. Guess. It was pictures of a naked co-ed! Hurray! My Friday was made complete before 11:00 am.

And there was not a stitch of clothing on her, either. It was glorious. I've found some pretty crazy things in books - I once found a dried marijuana leaf in an Art book - but this has to top everything I've ever seen. I'm practically gushing. It was awesome.

I hope you enjoyed my little story, and perhaps it will bring you as much happiness as it did me!

Jan 18, 2007

A Little Defamation Never Hurt Anybody

Hey, there, square bears. I'm back for another post. I just checked the blog, and I'm happy to see that I got some comments from people who aren't in my immediate circle of friends. It's good!

Tonight's post is just a general amalgamation of the week's events, swirled into a stew of my liking. I'll start with the Fairness Doctrine, since it's been one of the most hotly contested topics of the week.

Certain members of the new Democratic Congress, most notably Dennis Kucinich, are trying to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, and, for some reason, I find myself agreeing with the more conservative side of the argument.

However, I don't necessarily agree with what the flying monkeys on the right are saying. I do believe that the underlying notion, though, rings true. Sort of.

Comedian Rush Limbaugh (thanks, KO) believes that bringing back the Fairness Doctrine is an underhanded attempt to silence right-wing talk radio.

I mean, come on, Rush. That's really simplistic. Do you really think that the Dems have that much forethought? If anything, it seems to me to be an opportunity to force all media outlets to give the other side a chance to speak, whatever the issue may be.

Personally, I find the unearthing of the Fairness Doctrine frivalous because we have so many media outlets these days. People who follow politics pretty much know the leanings of their sources. Don't you, Kucinich?

Does a place like Liberal Oasis have to publish the other side? Would they? That seems to defeat the purpose of L.O.

And would the people who listen to Rush Limbaugh even believe Al Franken or Barbara Boxer, if they were to be brought on the show? No. More often than not, they'd just be ridiculed for their opinions. Oh, and shouldn't Rush Limbaugh have to work just a little bit for his material? Having other, truly opposite opinions wouldn't improve the quality of his shows. It would just melt into more knee-jerk politics. That's exactly why the show Crossfire was bad for America (and yet, so entertaining).

The Fairness Doctrine would go down in flames again, I think. But don't be a sheep. Sean Hannity, on his show the other day, kept reiterating the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging freedom of speech." Personally, I don't think that having someone else on a radio program with a different opinion is an aberration of free speech. It doesn't prevent the talk show host from saying what he wants; it just forces him to let the other side speak.

Yet, I still find my own little Libertarian take on it. I say, let the people decide what they want to hear. If nobody liked what Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity was saying, then they would have stopped listening years ago. Let them stay on the air, as long as there is a market for it. What they're saying may be moronic at times but it's not hatespeech or anything. If you don't like it, turn it off. I do, with great pleasure.

Jan 15, 2007

The "Traditional" Family

First of all, I would like to give you all a "Happy MLK Day" today.

Now that that's done, let's talk about a subject near and dear to my heart: Fundamenalist Christians (or, substitute the fundamentalist group of your choice).

Tody I - or rather LP - bought the third season of a particular Showtime program. Aw, hell, it's Penn & Teller's B.S. (Bullshit, for the layperson).

The second episode on the first disc was about "Traditional Family Values," which I have always felt was a little out of whack.

A) Because I gew up in a single-parent home and think that not having a father in my home did not affect my upbringing. In fact, I think that having my mother and grandmother was the best thing that could have happened to me.

B) The people who always say that a traditional family is a mother, a father, a son, a daughter, and a fuzzy dog are generally hypocrites or messed-up in a fundamental way anyway (no pun intended).

C) Since I didn't grow up a religious sheep, I can see that most people only believe that because they were inundated with religious nonsense growing up anyway and couldn't make an independent decision if all their eternity depended on it.

So, now that I've got the chip on my shoulder off, let's talk about the "traditional" family for a little while. Now, again, I will try to minimize the number of "quotation marks" I use.

But I can't promise anything.

Historically, the traditional family (See! No quotation marks) consisted of a man and many women, not a Christian daddy and a WASPY mother. Are we clear on that? There is no evidence to support that it has always been a single man and a woman.

We're (almost) all educated here, so I won't bother with walking you through all of this, but the gist of everything is that there is no single objective way to determine what works as a family and what doesn't.

Did you know:

- Same-sex parents tend to be more well-educated, of higher income brackets, are not authoritarian, and - guess what, people - are guaranteed never to have accidental children. I don't know of many other families that can say that.

But, I suppose most of you already know that, right? The one thing that I did learn from the show tonight is that there is one distinct drawback to the "two mommies" or "two daddies" angle of parenting: homophobia.

Yep, that's right: children of gay parents tend to develop homophobia from the people surrounding them. So, then, it's not the parents' fault. Wow, homophobes, how do ya feel?

Also, where did the idea that children of gay parents tend to do drugs and commit violent crime? Anyone who's ever taken a sociology class - or just plain lived in a city - knows that crime tends to develop out of poverty, homelessness, unemployment, or something I like to call "Fraternity."

Yeah, a lot of the crime can be traced to douchie kids who have no sense of moral obligation. What about the stellar family there? I know some fraternity kids who have done, said, or have been purported to have done some pretty nasty things. I hate to pick on them - I really don't - but I think it makes a good argument. Rich kids can be criminals, too. And they're well-educated and from "Mommy and Daddy" homes.

Now, that seems to negate my argument, right? WRONG. It only proves it. It proves that there are NO rules to family. Either it works or it doesn't. In some cases it does, but in a vast majority - check the 50% of marriages that end every year - it doesn't.

Read your history books, people. And, to quote the inimitable Fred Durst, Take a Look Around.

Jan 11, 2007

Sorry - So Sorry

I'm sorry it's been a few days since I last blogged, but I've been working Hellish hours at my job - 70 this week - and it's just been too draining to do any blogging. I apologize, but I'll be back on the trail starting this weekend. Or, I guess, tomorrow night. It's not like I've abandoned you completely.

AND, I am 65 pgs. into the second novel. Pretty spiffy, eh?

Jan 7, 2007

New Falcons Coach

Breaking News!

The Falcons have hired Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino to replace Jim Mora, Jr. as head coach.

Whatcha think?

Jan 6, 2007

Diet Pepsi Commercial

There's a new NFL Diet Pepsi commerical out, and I wanted to post it for you guys' entertainment, but, alas, I couldn't find it. So here's another one.

That's Michael J. Fox from 1986.

Today's Quote

"It's too late to pray for America. It's a sin to pray for America".

Who said this? No, not Saddam Hussein. Close, but, no, it's not Osama bin Laden.

Yep, that's right. It's Reverend Fred Phelps, of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Stephen Colber will be pissed

Lake Superior State University - or LSSU as the hipsters on NPR call it - has compiled its yearly list of words that should be banned.

Among them: truthiness.

For those of you who do not know, truthiness is a word "invented" by Comedy Central talk show host - aw hell, you know him - Stephen Colbert. It's sort of a satirical thing, because it's poking fun at the way that President Bush doesn't rely on facts or anything to conduct business from the White House. It's just his own misled instincts he uses.

I kind of disagree with this, mostly because I don't know of anyone who uses truthiness on a regular basis, except of course for Stephen Colbert.

(All right. I have to stop this post for a moment to tell you something. Every time I type the host's name, I hear Fred Phelps's voice in my head. Steephen Coll-bear is how it's coming out. Sorry.)

But he's the only person who uses it. So how is it being overused then? I guess the great people at LSSU - I feel like I have a typing stutter; it looks wrong (LSU) - feel that it's deemed "worthless" rather than overused.

But, then again, the New York Times Review of Books also said that the novel is dead, and I see those things getting published every week, brotha.

You can read the article by typing on this sentence.

Jan 5, 2007

351st Post

I like milestones - they give me a sense of accomplishment - and so I would like to announce that the last post (not this one) was JP's 350th post! Since October of 2004, I've tried to make the world a better place to live, and I think I single-handedly accomplished that task. So, you're welcome.

Jan 4, 2007

Aqua Teen Trailer

Here's the offical trailer for the upcoming Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie. And yes, they're making a movie.

Primeval is a Joke

Okay, call me stupid for not having heard of the "antagonist" - or would he actually be the "protagonist"? - in the movie Primeval.

It's about a "serial killer" and I felt stupid for not having heard of him/her. When they played the trailer, and it said responsible for more than 300 deaths, I was taken aback. I was embarrassed, actually. I sort of follow serial killers and was disappointed to know that there was one, albeit a big one, that I had missed.

Well, I just researched it and now I'm pissed.

A CROCODILE can't be a serial killer, asshole Advertising people.


Read this article to find out about Primeval. Really, on my 6300 dollar suit. Come on!

30.00 to Last Me

I keep up with my money fairly well, and right now I am the brokest I have been in, like, seven or eight months. I have 30 bucks to last me until. . .oh, wait, tomorrow's payday. Nevermind. Hurray!

Nothing New

Other than the fact that I've been working a lot, there's nothing really "new" about my life. No big changes. No big news.

Although, I did get back on the Abs Diet Plan, a book written by the editors of Men's Health Magazine, a magazine I read on a regular basis.

It's not a very restrictive "diet" - Jesus God I hate using that term - which makes it so easy to follow. It's more of a life plan or something, but it's been pretty satisfying so far.

I don't want to lose any major weight, maybe five pounds or so, but I also don't want my blood pressure or anything to skyrocket either. I'm not in college anymore and the smorgasbord has got to stop.

At this point, I feel I have to justify why I'm "chaging my diet" anyway. It's just so weird for a guy to discuss this sort of thing, but I guess I'm making the best stab at it that I can. I guess I just want to stay in the same shape my whole life - I weigh the same amount that I did when I graduated high school (195) - instead of succumbing to that thing which plagues so many twentysomethings: the restaurant.

Lady Protocol thinks I'm too anal about my weight, but I think I have a genuine claim to be worried. Lots of people in my family have been diagnosed with diabetes, and a good few of them have problems with high blood pressure.

So anyways, the Abs Diet (or so it is called) works on the basis of metabolism rather than the restriction of calories. You're bored. I get it. I'll shut up now. Enjoy your Friday.

Jan 1, 2007

Should Lloyd Carr Be Fired?

I'm just kidding. I just thought that it would be a good blog title. Sorry for the delay in blogging, but I wanted to enjoy my holidays. But I'm itching to get back, so here goes for the NEW year, huh?

I don't think Lloyd Carr should get fired, or even be on the not-proverbial "hot seat," because he had a nearly magical year at Michigan. An 11-2 season is not to shabby - not too shabby indeed - although for the last three years in a row he's lost his last two games (to Ohio State and the Bowl Game). This year the Wolverines lost to a scrappy USC team; last year it was Nebraska who defeated them in the Alamo Bowl; and in 2005 it was Texas who beat them at the Rose Bowl.

But again, I don't think he should be fired. He's 5-7 in Bowl Games overall, though that doesn't make him any worse than the Braves in postseason stuff.

Okay, enough of being tongue-in-cheek. He hasn't been good against rivals or in bowl games, but that doesn't mean he should get fired, so all the morons on the internet - including myself, I suppose - should stop with this craziness.

I am pretty tired of hearing how much better than the rest of the country the Big-10 is, though, according to B10 enthusiasts. It's gratifying to see a team beat Michigan like that, considering just how much whining went on in the last few days of the season, after Florida jumped Michigan. Obviously Meeechigan isn't the "2nd best team in the country" right now. At best they're third and, in all reality, probably a little lower (maybe fourth or fifth).

So far, the Big 10 is 2-4 in the bowl season and with a Florida win - which is what I'm hoping for - then the conference will fall even farther.

With that, congrats to the Georgia Bulldogs, for beating Virginia Tech in the Chik-fil-A Peach Bowl and for beating their third consecutive ranked oppononent. That's the first time ever, for those who don't know or don't care. Congrats, Coach Richt, on a great season. Here's to next year.