Thursday, June 21, 2007


As expected, President Bush vetoed the stem cell research bill, once again letting his religious and moral beliefs affect his ability to do any good for this country. Said Hillary Clinton: "This is just one example of how the president puts ideology before science, politics before the needs of our families, just one more example of how out of touch with reality he and his party have become." Amen Sister! Where's your Myspace page? I'm sending you a friend request as I write this. Oh, how cute. Barak Obama left you a picture comment.

Bush claims that putting an end to a human life for research purposes (as opposed to oil, right?) is one line that he will not cross, yet he comes from Texas, a state that takes pride in how many criminals they kill. Apparently, once you commit a felony, you're no longer a human being in the eyes of the law (and the religious right). Hey! Why not conduct medical experiments on convicts? Or Iraqis! Wouldn't that solve everyone's problem? Holy crap! I could be president. Ok, I digress.

Calling a stem cell a human being is like a calling a cocoa bean a Hershey bar. There is a long way to go before totipotent cells (embryonic stem cells) even think of becoming a fetus. Most of the research being done can be conducted on pluripotent or multipotent cells, which are not embryonic stem cells. Also, do not confuse totipotent, pluripotent and multipotent cells with fluripotent cells, which I completely made up.

(Thanks to Trine for helping me straighten out some facts. In hindsight, "Who gives a flying fuck about embryos" isn't the most coherent argument.)

Within this debate, I often hear the term "playing God" thrown around by people who like clichés and don't like thinking for themselves. Well, you know what? The entire field of medicine is "playing God". I would not be here if my doctor hadn't played God 26 years ago, nor would my girlfriend or countless others who are not lucky to be genetically perfect. Medication is 'playing God.' Whether you're popping pills to keep your cholesterol down or your dick up, you're playing God. Those Christian Scientist fuckbags have a point; the difference is that I am not insane. I actually value human life so I say, "Bring it on Doc. Play God!" If you want to bring religion into this argument, one could argue that God gave us the technology to be able to use for the greater good, i.e. saving human lives and making sure that I can still rock a 3 hour and 59 minute long erection when I'm 70 without having to consult a physician.

Say What Now?
I recently read that a brand new video game called 'Manhunt 2' was banned by British censors for depicting 'casual sadism.' What is that? Torturing someone while wearing jeans?

You know what I love? Walk off home runs. Baseball season is a wondrous time of year. Go Sox!

Bruised Apple? Pilot Inspektor to the Rescue!
An intervention is needed. Celebrities are in crisis! It's common knowledge that many celebrities treat their kids like trophies, which is awful enough. Even the celebrities who do not adopt still find ways to let the world know they're selfish assholes. This is evident in the names celebs give their children. For example, Apple Martin, Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf-Lee, Suri Cruise and Coco Arquette are all real names bestowed upon celebrity spawn. Sly Stallone named his kid Sage Moonblood. I shit you not.

No kid is going to enjoy being named Apple or Coco. That sounds more like my breakfast than suitable names for a child. When Kal-el (Nicholas Cage's son) is getting beat up on the playground, the kids aren't going to care that his dad is famous, nor are they going to care that Kal-el is Superman's birth name. When Apple is being teased by the other kids, they won't care that her father makes boring music. I'm not saying everyone needs to be named Jessica or Joseph. There is certainly room for creativity and originality, but…come on. People are so fast to use the cliché "think of the children" so for fuck's sake, think of the children!

Grand Finales

Life doesn't always give you closure. Life doesn't always have neat tidy endings with clear and concise explanations as to what happened and why. So that's why we turn to TV! But sometimes, TV decides to fuck with our heads and give us a symbolic 'what does it all mean' ending that provides more questions than answers and just pisses us off. So we ask ourselves why we devoted the past 6 years following this television show (Sopranos!) just to have some artsy fartsy ending make us wonder if the power went out. Sometimes the pressure of it all can go to a script writer's head. David Chase knows he can't please everyone, so he opts to please no one but himself. Does Tony die? There are various signs that point to yes. That guy in the diner in the final scene happened to be the second cousin of a guy that Christopher 'whacked' back in episode 4 of season 3. What? You missed that episode? Damn, if only you'd had DVR back then. I haven't felt so empty by a series finale since Seinfeld. Then again, how do you end a show about nothing?

In all honesty, I'm over Sopranos. Some call the ending genius; others feel like they got 'whacked' in the end. But due to the fact that I've attended two wakes the span of six days, I can't help but think of finales. I began to ask myself how I would write the final day (episode) of my life I knew it was the end. Sometimes I picture an action packed episode with crazy explosions, fire fights and a climactic final scene! Perhaps even a topless scene. Hell, let's go full frontal. It's my last day! Other times, I think I'd opt for a dialogue driven, thoughtful and artistic ending with lots of symbolism, meaningful dialogue and, of course, a tastefully done full frontal nude scene. I'd go out with a simple final breath as the credits begin to roll; one final inhalation and then no more. It's an interesting thought to ponder and I'm honestly not sure how I would write it. All I know is that I would not let David Chase anywhere near the script!

By the way, one of the best, saddest, yet most satisfying finales I've seen was for the HBO show 'Six Feet Under.' Utterly amazing.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Why I Blog

Recently, I was called to task about something that I wrote in one of my blogs. It wasn't so much a critique of my blog, or a particular comment, but a personal attack, which also involved some very harsh comments towards my girlfriend, whom this person does not even know. This all started because my religious beliefs and lifestyle choices do not match those of this particular individual, including where religion is concerned. While I do not aim to belittle anyone's religion, the fact that I was attacked because my beliefs (religious and otherwise) did not sync up with those of this person only emphasized the fact that many hide misplaced anger, hatred and narrow mindedness behind the guise of religion. Growing up, I was taught to believe that religion was about tolerance, acceptance and love of all human beings, but what I have seen throughout my life, including this person's email, does not coincide with those teachings. I often picture God up there shaking his head in utter disgust saying, "This is not what I had in mind." On the other hand, I've known plenty of religious folks who are good, kind and decent people and who do live motivated by love and acceptance. Anyhow, the events of the past few days have got me thinking about why I write these blogs, besides apparently securing myself a spot in Hell.

My prime motivation is to get my thoughts and feelings down on "paper." I am a writer. There's always been a part of me that needs to express itself through words and music. I also happen to have what I'm told is a pretty good sense of humor; therefore I aim to make people think and laugh through my writing. If you can't agree with me, at least you can laugh while disagreeing. The fact that I've gotten lots of hits and comments about my blogs (most of them very positive) keeps me motivated and extra vigilant. My mind doesn't stop, though sometimes I wish it did.

Sometimes I get angry and I use my blogs to vent. Angry? Me? Haha…Ok, I may not always research facts or put together the most coherent arguments. Sometimes it's just stream of consciousness writing; venting my frustrations. I use my writing to blow off steam, much as a radio host might use the airwaves (oops! Bad example given recent events ) or as a boxer might use a speed bag. Think of my blogs as my personal punching bags. The downfall here is that by committing those words to print, they have a way of being taken as concrete.

Often, I say things to get a rise out of people. I've written some pretty outlandish things; things I don't even believe, but I find humorous. I once wrote that I didn't like bananas because they are selfish for turning brown if you don't eat them after 2 or 3 days, like a kid who cries if he's not the center of attention. It was a dumb joke, and it seemed funny at the time. The truth is, folks, I love bananas. When they turn brown I just toss in em' in the freezer and use them in protein shakes for good post work out carbohydrate boosts. My point is that not everything I write is meant to be taken seriously. Do I really care about Oprah's book club? Not really. I just wanted to fill the space and it was fun to bitch about.

Lastly, I write about controversial issues and I do state my opinion. Yes, I'm pro-choice, and no, I have nothing against gays getting married. Have at it. I'm a very open minded person, I'd like to think, and while we may disagree on things, I would hope that we can co-exist and even have civil conversations and good natured, intellectual debate. If you don't agree with my opinions, perhaps you appreciate the approach I take, the humor I infuse in my writing, or my use of language. If none of those things move you, then you do not have to read my blog. But I will continue to write.

Deja Vu!

Greetings and salutations!

Hold Your Applause!
In Galesburg, Illinois strange things are a-happening. Caisha Gayles graduated with honors last month, but she is still waiting for her diploma. Why? She and four others are being denied diplomas because their friends and families cheered too loudly for them as they crossed the stage at their graduation ceremony. I shit you not. This is yet another example of how our society is so ultra politically correct that they'll take absurd measures in order to avoid making anyone the least bit uncomfortable, whether it's those students who don't have lots of people cheering them on or other graduates' families. To the families: If people are cheering too loudly, too fuckin' bad. If you're the ones being obnoxious, perhaps try and keep your cheers at a respectful level. Graduation ceremonies are celebrations and should be treated as such. I think too many people forget what it was like to be young. And to students: If you have a group of people cheering for you, then good for you. If you don't, then get the fuck over it! The real world doesn't have a cheering section. Consider yourself ahead of the curve.

Regardless, it's not the fault of the graduates. If someone is acting inappropriately, then make them accountable. Often, a well placed "Shut the fuck up or I'll kill you in your sleep" can diffuse such a situation. If not, remove them from the ceremonies. Do not make the graduates suffer during what should be a memorable occasion. What kind of fucking idiots are running these events? Oh, that's right: the very same people responsible for educating today's young people. Interesting….

What a Pisser!
In Columbus, Ohio, the ACLU is fighting to have the identities of executioners revealed for public scrutiny after a number of botched executions. For instance, Christopher Newton's execution by lethal injection last month took 90 minutes and at least 10 stabs of the needle for the execution team to find a vein, which isn't so different from the people who set up blood drives when I was in high school, judging from half-dollar sized bruises they left on students' arms. The funniest part is that the execution took so long that they stopped to let Newton take a bathroom break. Seriously. If swabbing the arm with alcohol before the lethal injection isn't funny enough, this has to cause some laughter. In fact, I might need a bathroom break. What Mr. Newton may not have realized is that when a person dies,, how do I say this? They involuntarily void their bowels. So any embarassment he was hoping to save himself was rendered pointless upon his death.

Hit the Road, Jack

Jack Kevorkian, lovingly known as 'Dr. Death' was released from prison last week. He walked out of Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, Michigan with his attorney and 60 minutes' resident octogenarian Mike Wallace. Kevorkian's stance on assisted suicide hasn't wavered, though he now vows to use only legal channels to try and get legislation changed regarding the controversial topic. In the meantime, Kevorkian has found another way to legally help people commit suicide: working at McDonald's.

Just Plain Creepy
Couples meet in all sorts of ways. I met my girlfriend online in a message board for people with liver disorders. Woody Allen met his wife when he married her mother. Some people even meet through classified ads in the paper, which is basically the old school version of online dating. However, the Hartford Advocate runs a feature called "Déjà Vu," by far the creepiest form of classified ads I've ever seen. This is an actual ad:

"Valentine's Day: Stop and Shop. 3:30 p.m., you were busy with a purchase. I noticed the warm energy radiating through you and felt as though it was directed to me. You seem like a strong, quiet, loving person and I felt very attracted to you. I like to dance and dream and ski. What about you?"

Basically, this freak show didn't have the balls to approach this person so they placed an ad in the paper taking the chance that the object of their desire was equally as lame and desperate. Not to mention that was Valentine's Day and it's now June, which gives the other person ample time to forget about the creep staring at them from check out counter. And before you ask, the reason I know about these types of ads is because a woman I used to work with told me she was mentioned in them on three separate occasions. My question is: how do you know? What prompts someone to even look in this section, let alone place an ad? What kinds of people are turned on by someone who doesn't even have the guts to approach you in person? If two people actually do find love (or lust) through these ads, then good for them. They deserve each other.