Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year's Hal and Mals




Well the New Year is upon us, gang. In a few hours, the Western Hemisphere will be ringing in the tidings of 2008. Your Expatriate, dear reader, will be spending a quiet safe New Year's here at my fortified compound in the Northern most reaches of the Great State, sipping Ice Picks and contemplating my writing endeavors.

I want to send out the blessings of a New Year to all of my family, and to my wonderful friends throughout this wide world, who I cannot be with tonight, especially my dear friends in Jacktown, a few of which will be ringing in 2008 at one of my favorite rathkellers, Hal and Mals.

Happy New Year's Hal and Mals, happy New Year's Katie, Todd, Jenn, Laura, Lucy, Zuga, G-man, and most of all, happy New Years Frank. Thank you for the picture.

The Ghosts of the Past




Ok, I admit it. Goddamnit, I admit it. I live in the past, when it comes to music. I’m sure everyone is glad to hear me say that. Especially one very vocal critic of my musical tastes. I love Led Zeppelin, I love Santana, I love CCR and The Beatles. Sue me. My favorite songs and artists come from a time, a simpler time, when Rock and Roll was Rock and Roll. A time before Hip Hop and Rap. One of my friends once said that I didn’t really like anything that wasn’t produced before 1982. That is basically true, but with a few qualifiers. I love some grunge and I love some 80s rock. Yes, I also love Jazz and a good bit of Country. I also have a deep affinity for Classical music. However, when everything shakes out, my true love is great 1960s and 1970s Rock and Roll. Gimme a hard driving beat, drums, guitar and screeching vocals. Gimme folksy Bob Dylan and Gram Parsons. I’ll take it.

There comes a time, dear reader, in every social critic’s life, when they have to eat some crow. So, for the sake a pretty good new pair of musicians, I’m going to pony up to the table and ask for seconds on Today’s Special of Fried Crow. Pass the fork, knife and hot sauce. I have to begrudgingly admit that a new band that I was recently hipped to, is actually, sort of, possibly, maybe………….good. The band, you ask? Ghostland Observatory. The other night, my very vocal critic of my musical tastes, called me up and told me to check out this group, Ghostland Observatory, on Austin City Limits. I bitched and moaned about how it was just electric slop and griped about the lack of real Rock and Roll being present in their music. Well, the next day I found myself on Myspace listening to their songs and have been listening steadily ever since. Yes, I dig them. Yes, I think they are pretty bad ass. And yes, I probably will go see them when they come around my way. So there you go, folks. My admission of guilt. I was blinded by my own self-righteousness about what is good music. I am digging the Ghostland.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Darker




So I have decided to update the look of my blog. I experimented with a few new names, such as "American Colossus" and "The Mississippi Mega Blog Monster Experience" but concluded that I better just stick with being the Ole Miss Expat. I hope everyone approves, however I doubt I would really give a shit if people didn't, considering there are only a handful of people that actually read my musings and rantings.

So inspiration hit me the other night. I began writing a new story and I really think its going to be interesting. I ran it by the Panda and she was repulsed by the theme and imagery. Score. She made an interesting note. She told me that my ideas for stories are pretty dark. I guess they are. She said she likes more uplifting stories. My adventures in writing have been to experiment with as many different styles and genres as possible so I guess I'll have to add some inspirational stuff for the Panda.

I have a deep fascination with very dark southern Gothic themes. I guess I just enjoy exploring the darker sides of humanity, rather than the happy bunny side of life. My life is pretty mundane so I find my kicks in the fiction of the macabre.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Music Mind/Holidays



The holiday blues are always a big topic around, well, the holidays. I pointed out to a friend of mine that there are two types of Christmas music; melancholy, such as “The Carol of the Bells” or happy, such as “Here Comes Santa Claus.” There really is not a middle ground. People usually divide up into either the melancholy group or the happy group. I am most certainly a melancholy type of fellow during the Christmas season. I cannot say that I am melancholy because of Santa not delivering what I really want and I cannot say that I am melancholy because my family is desperately insane. The real reason I am melancholy during these wreath and garland days has more to do with the uncertainty that next year will bring. The Christmas/New Year’s revelry only makes me reflect on the mistakes of the previous year and inspire an intense fear for the next 12 months. So I sit in my apartment and listen to “The Carol of the Bells” ringing out a Medievalesque warning that the holidays have arrived.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Overlords




Is it the fact that the old return and usurp what the young can never duplicate? Is this idea of Modern Music at its end, only to have the death knell played by a band that disappeared ages ago? Or perhaps this is just something magical, something that happens once in a lifetime, that a group of musicians, musicians who made some of the greatest music in the history of Rock and Roll or any other genre, rise up again and cast a spell over everyone.

27 years ago, Led Zeppelin broke up after the untimely and tragic death of John Bonham. During their tenure as a great Rock and Roll group, they inspired the next 25 years of music with their driving beats, meaningful lyrics and epic songs. All of the members of the group have been hailed as timeless and powerful.

Flash forward to 2007. A reunion show. People clammering for a tour. Bonham’s son taking the place of his father. A rebirth. The gods return from Olympus. Like so many fans of great Rock and Roll, I along with the multitudes of kids who grew up in the 80s and 90s, only knew Zeppelin from posters, bumper stickers, box sets, radio count downs and the legends of people who saw them live. We never got to see them. We only heard about them through our speakers. Well the time, hopefully, has come again. An older band, maybe slightly out of their prime, but they return at the turn of the tide.

Rock and Roll needs this. Rock and Roll needs guidance and a resurgence back to its roots. Rock and Roll needs its gods.

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying: Valhalla, I am coming!

On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
How soft your fields so green, can whisper tales of gore,
Of how we calmed the tides of war. We are your overlords.

On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

So now you'd better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
For peace and trust can win the day despite of all your losing.

-Immigrant Song, Led Zeppelin

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Trying New Stuff

Slowly, slowly, slowly, I join the technolog-i-macal human race. Here is a video for you kids to enjoy. Its one of my favs. A classic Washburn guitar and one of the oldest, most classic blues songs. Its called Make a Pallet on Your Floor. The song is about cracking.


Music: Assasin of Youth




I was thinking a lot about music today and I stumbled onto a revelation. Perhaps it’s the beer I’ve been drinking. Who knows, the disparity between the two is so slight, does it really matter? Anywho, I was contemplating great music while listening to Ruby Tuesday by the Stones and something struck me in the face. Great music should have the same affect on the audience as a person who walks into the middle of a conversation. Not just a mundane conversation, but a great conversation between people who are talking about amazing and interesting things. You, as the innocent passer-by stumbles in and only catches great poetic phrases that stick deeply into your brain, such as, “She would never say where she came from…” That is from the Ruby Tuesday by the Stones. That is a great phrase that is almost like the end of a sentence, rather than the beginning of a song. As a music critic in the Classic meaning of the phrase, I think that is what I strive for. To find great songs that are poetic endings and beginnings. Who ever really cared for the middle, anyway? By the way, Scarlet, this is how you should be blogging.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Forward Rebels



Well I have not done a sports post here in a while, so I felt that I should, now that Ole Miss’ embarrassing season is over. The Rebs hurt my feelings this year, so I have been reluctant to post anything. With the entry of Houston Nutt, I do have a few things to say, so listen up Ole Miss faithful and slack jawed yokels. Here we go:

1) Lets all be realistic about next season. I do not want promises of Sugar Bowls and SEC titles. I want a .500 season.
2) I want us to beat the shit out of State next year to shut up the folks that are singing Croom’s praises. Nutt better get on that.
3) Lets utilize our recruits and not work against them. Too much talent has been squandered lately.
4) Fire Pete Boone. Your time is past, bubba.
5) Retire Khayat. Your time is past, bubba.
6) I say pull some redshirts and lets get a few of these guys on the field. Like, now.
7) I want no one, and I mean no one, to talk up Snead like he is the next best thing to sliced bread. I want him to pocket-pass, calm down, and watch film all the time. Get on that one too, Nutt.
8) Lastly, and this is the biggy: ALL OF OUR HIGH POWERED ALUMNI NEED TO STAY OUT OF THE FUCKING FIELD HOUSE. LET COACH NUTT RUN HIS TEAM AND HIS PERSONNEL. THE ALUMNI’S POSITION IS IN THE GROVE AND IN THE STANDS. Our program has been pretty clean, but I have the stinking suspicion that there are some hands creeping in, trying to guide things. Stay out.

Anywho, gang. There you go. So until next season, Forward Rebels, March to Fame.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Marketing Data or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb




Ok, haven’t been blogging much. Got a bone to pick, so I felt like this was a good way to vent and get back into the groove. Now that myspace and all the rest of the social networking sites are taking over the way we conceptualize the internet, myspace and the rest are apparently becoming the proving ground for up and coming television shows. For example: the myspacetv show, “Quarterlife.” This show centers around a group of 20-somethings trying to figure out their place in life. Now, as a self-diagnosing schizo-paranoid weirdo, I long ago diagnosed myself with the “Quarter-Life Crisis” which is a name for a time in young people’s lives, especially of my generation, when they faced with a world that has educated them to the Nth degree, yet refuse to accept and accommodate them into society. Typical Quarter Life Crisis symptoms include, an apathetic attitude, an aversion to older generations, a feeling of not belonging, etc… Now, back to the show. This show on myspacetv deals with these 20-something artists, living somewhere like LA, perfect skin, perfect bodies, but going through the same Quarter-Life Crisis as me. Right? Wrong. Watch a few episodes of this tripe and you will pick up pretty quick that this show is nothing but a commercial for Toyota. Hell, a good chunk of the fucking dialogue happens in the car, which happens to be a Toyota. The whole show also revolves around the fact that one of the central character blogs about all her shit on myspace. Hmmm. Wait, I used to do that and now I’m on this blog. Goddammit. They have co-opted my whole life! Get out of my head myspace!!! My only question is whether or not myspace will be using the data they compile from all the people who watch this horse shit and sell it to marketing firms who are desperately still trying to figure out how to sell us more useless shit like “Quarterlife.” Oh yea, NBC has pick up this crap for ’08. It will probably be a huge hit, win a shit ton of emmys and I’ll still be blogging and still living an actual “Quarter-Life Crisis.”

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Basketball, China and Mall Bar



Today I hit up a new bar here at the top of the Great State. Yes, yes, I sold out my old haunts for a job and a bar in a strip mall. Sue me. I needed a gig. Anywho, this place is a chain of sorts, seeing as it has three other locations, or so I’ve been told. From the outside, its pretty mundane, like any other store in a strip mall. Uniformly built to the specs of the mall’s aesthetic orders. On the inside, though, I have to say I was impressed. Nice wooden bar, friendly bartenders who wanted to know my name. The whole deal. The only problem was that it only made me miss my old haunts and old friends even more. Nostalgia hit me like a freight train. This bar will serve its purpose, but I just might have found the best places back down in the Capitol City.
So I was watching basketball at this bar. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll call this bar, “Mall Bar.” Basketball in October. Fucking strange world. For some reason, the NBA has decided to do a series of “China Games.” Basketball in China. Before the game, ESPN was doing a whole thing about how wonderful Beijing is and how its all lit up like Times Square. Yea, go 100 miles outside of Beijing and it’s the Middle Ages. Back in 1989 China sold its soul for neon lights and government controlled capitalism. I wonder if Mao ever predicted this? Mao once said, “Religion is the opiate of the people.” The adage should have included that neon is a derivative of the poppy plant. The West is so afraid to show pictures of the Dalai Lama with Bush for fear of pissing off the Chinese, and ESPN broadcasts live from downtown Beijing. Something wrong with this picture? Selling products and endorsing Gatorade is ok, but human rights take a backseat to a country where most of the people live in the 16th century.
So I sit at Mall Bar and watch ESPN glorify the worst human right abusing country in the history of the world. I finish my beer at the strip mall and go home, amazed that I live in a country that wears blinders in favor of Gatorade and LeBron James.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Country Music Post



There is something sadistic about the Patsy Cline song, "I Fall to Pieces." I don't know what it is. Her voice was so haunting, it almost creeps me out. This is not to say that I absolutely don't love Patsy Cline, because I do. I harp a good bit about how much I love an older sound of country music. Patsy might just hit that nail on the head. Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, and Patsy all have this sound that speaks about a poor life, only filled briefly with diversion and enjoyment. Today's country music lacks that. The sound out of the Nashville establishment sounds more like people living a life of leisure, with only a few moments of despair and horror. I am a consummate critic of everything and country music is no exception. Sure, there are a few country songs here and there, made in the last 10 or so years that I actually appreciate, but for authenticity, I have to go back 30 or 40 years. I guess its the same with rock and roll.

I am Danny Devito


So the kid found a job. Actually, the job fell my way. This whole experience serves to illustrate the point taken from "Its a Wonderful Life," which is, "No man is ever poor who has friends." Thanks to a wonderful friend, I have a job and it really is a wonderful life.
Wow. That was sappy. Well, kiss my ass. There. Is that snarky enough for you, dear reader?
Tomorrow I start my new job and hopefully I won't fall on my ass. Somehow I doubt I will, seeing as there are too many good people that work with me to let that happen, but hey, I am a world-renown klutz.
Basically what I will be doing will be akin to Danny Devito's job in "The Rainmaker." For further inquiries, please dial 9 or wait for an operator.
Living up here at the top of The Great State is interesting. My apartment is luxurious, there are tons of Applebees and I only know 3 people. Let the adventures start!
Just a quick note to update you dear reader. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Don't Call It A Comeback






Alright. Alright. ALRIGHT, GODDAMMIT!! I'm back, cats and kittens. Your truly finally landed a job, but at a great price. I am being forced to leave the capitol city and head to other parts of the Great State in search of my fortune. I leave behind good times and great memories, but I'll always come back. When I first moved to Jack-Town I was pretty disappointed because I was leaving the happy hunting grounds of Oxfordtown. Over the years, though, I've grown to love the Capitol City and relish in its danger and eclectic style. Unfortunately, the baby boomers still have a death grip on all the good jobs, so I'm packing up my bags and heading to new spring and winter quarters to hunt for better pelts and meet new natives.



The job hunt was grueling and as with everything in life it came down to who you know. Well, a friend came through and I've gotten something lined up. The kid was down in the third, but it was a TKO after 4. Just don't call it a comeback.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Ghost Writing




I watched Stephen King's "Salem's Lot" today. During college I took a great class in Gothic literature and my professor stated very plainly that of all of King's books, "Salem's Lot" was the best and one of the best additions to the American canon of literature. I have read the book a few times, and I have to say this made for television movie is a good interpretation of it.


Anyone that knows King, knows that he common elements are the supernatural, fear, children, memories, a return and redemption. What is interesting is that "Salem's Lot" incorporates all of King's classic elements and places them in an almost 19th century tale of vampires. Genius, pure genius.


I always try to write, but its people like King who figure out what it really takes to be a writer.


Today at the bar I had a discussion with a woman about poetry. She told me a few of her poems. They were interesting, perhaps a little grandiose, but they kept your attention and she had good diction. I was accommodating, but disagreed with her about one point. Her idea of writing is that a person should use writing as an emotional outlet and at least for her, her writing comes from pent up emotions and flow outward like a waterfall. Sort of a catharsis on paper. Therapists have recommended this approach for years. I have to say, in much of my writing, I do the same thing. I wait for a creative burst and let it spill out onto paper. However, for me, a true writer is someone who learns to control these bursts and let them come out in a slow fashion. Careful, calculated and diligent. She disagreed and said the best work came from sudden bursts. Its a tough argument, but I have to imagine that Faulkner, Hemingway, Wolfe and yes, Stephen King mastered the art of opening that creative vein and letting it flow slowly, carefully and with a sharp and masterful point.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cash




I seriously doubt that I have blogged about this, and I felt, being slightly intoxicated and emotional, that I should. So here goes.

I was thinking about Johnny Cash today, as I normally do think about great musicians. There isn't much I can write about that hasn't been covered by much better writers than myself, but I do have a few words that took me a while to put into context.

Johnny Cash was the quintessential American musician. He was uncompromising, passionate, a consummate writer, a spiritual beacon, opinionated, professional, weak, strong, and an overall musician's musician. I can sit and listen to his bourbonesque voice for hours. He had a talent for pushing his beliefs when they were not popular, no matter what. He believed what he believed, whether you agreed with it or not. At the end of the day you had to respect him. He forced it from you. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Gospel Hall of Fame. Country Music Hall of Fame. He wore black for the oppressed, the dying soldier, the illiterate, the down-trodden and the homeless. He was the Man in Black. Without Johnny Cash, the American puzzle is truly incomplete.

Johnny Cash was so goddamn cool that he could span four decades of music with original songs that are still covered and revered by musicians today.

Johnny Cash was called home on September 12, 2003 and I think everyone misses him as much as I do.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Funny Shit




I have to sing the praises of a new website, well its not that new, but its new to me. Its called Super Deluxe and its one of Turner's new incarnations of web-tainment. Basically, its a shitload of comedians and entertainment people who have gotten together and produced web only cartoons and live action skits. The stuff is really funny and include skits like The Professor Brothers, Lonely DJ and The Maria Bamford Show. One of my favs is The Derek and Simon show and is produced by Bob Odenkirk, one of the creators of Mr. Show and a regular on Tim and Eric's Awesome Show.

The humor is total absurdist humor and situation comedy, but not from a traditional plot. Its my number 1 pick right now, as far as web based entertainment, so check it out.

Think of it like youtube, except with pros doing most of the work. The site allows fans to upload their own videos and take a stab at comedy. I think that is a great idea and involves fans and allows them to get pros to view their ideas.

Look at the site and enjoy.

www.superdeluxe.com

Trying, Trying, Trying




Ok, so recently one of my avid readers, and I suspect one of my only readers accused me of not blogging enough. I have decided to make it up to everyone, so here goes.

What have I been doing? Well, in not so many words, trying to get a job. I have concluded that I really don't want to practice law so I apply to everything available where I think a law degree my prove useful to someone or some corporation or company or demonic wiccan cult of Mormons. Ok, that last one was a joke. I would never apply to a demonic wiccan cult of Mormons unless they had a pretty good insurance plan.

The problem with applying to everything under the sun is that either a) HR departments that post jobs on websites only do that for shits and giggles, because I have yet to hear back from any of them or b) a law degree can hurt you. I say hurt you, because I mean that I wonder if people think I'm joking or not serious. Goddammit I am.

I was eating at Broad Street the other day and found myself starring at a stack of applications for servers and cooks. Jesus Christ.

What else have I been up to? Well my insomnia has been raging lately. A few days ago, I didn't sleep for about 30 hours. I was delirious and felt like I was high. I rode around and realized that I probably should not be driving. Finally, I fell asleep for a few hours. My friend informed me that it can take up to a month to satisfy the "sleep debt" that your body incurs from non regular sleeping patterns. It will probably take me more like a year to repair the damage. Mostly, I look for jobs, drink a bit and worry about the bar.

I tried calling back the only job where I actually got a few interviews with. The guy is out of the state. I wonder if they just tell me that shit, or if its actually true. Word around the camp fire is that they are going to make a decision this week on who made the cut. Its like trying to be the most popular kid. You wear a nice suit, laugh at alot of jokes, but the whole time your thinking, "give me the goddamn job!"

Applying for jobs on the internet is strange. All these damn websites post all these jobs, but mostly they are for truck drivers or work from home scams involving stuffing envelopes.

I'll keep it up, though.

Friday, July 13, 2007

An Open Threat to the Baby Boomer Generation




Just a little bit longer. Why not get a higher education? Why not get a masters degree? Or a law degree? You become more valuable. Who says these things? People with only an undergraduate degree. Just a little bit longer. Why not take an internship? You know, everyone starts at entry level. You have to realize that you just don't have any experience. Sound familiar? Thats a conversation between someone of my generation and someone of the older generation. When I think back on every time that I have heard the garbage come out of the Baby Boomers, it makes me sick. To listen to a law professor lecture about how important the bar is, when in fact he never took the bar because during his time in law school, if you graduated from Ole Miss law, you automatically were granted a law license. Money is another funny thing. The Baby Boomers have the largest concentration of wealth in this country, all tied up in their mutual funds, retirement funds, "paid for" houses, etc... Meanwhile, my generation struggles with rising costs of renting an apartment and trying not to get married until they at least have a job at the bottom of the ladder. The Baby Boomers thought their kids grew up to be fucked up, wait until you see the next crop. Growing up in an apartment or moving back in with grandma and grandpa.
Just jump through this hoop. Good boy. Ok, now sit up? Good. Now fetch! Thats what I hear. At the same time they are barking orders to you, the have this comical view of technology, as if its interesting, but lets just leave it at that. Blog? Huh? A blackberry? You mean the pie? Then everyone has a loud laugh, as if something is funny. Oh you kids with your Nintendos and mountain bikes. When will you learn that the world is made of hand churned butter and memories. The Baby Boomers relish in nostalgia and just pray, as hard as they can, that the fountain of youth will be found in the swamps of Florida. No wills. No estate planning. Environment? Oh, hell. It will always be there. The Baby Boomers, for whatever reason, have failed to grasp the concept that the future actually does matter. They don't embrace "the new" but only crave "the old." They wear the '60s around like a goddamn Red Badge of Courage and think that today's music is just too loud. Did they forget about Hendrix, or did he not fit on the Badge? Selective memory is a motherfucker.
Go away. Thats what I say. Retire, liquidate our assets and go on cruises. Quit your jobs, please lord, quit your jobs and get the fuck out of our way. My generation is a generation turning 30 and just now entering the workforce. To the Baby Boomers, we are all "kids" even if we are in our late 20s and they just can't take us seriously.
They should, though. Social Security is a privilege, not a right. Remember that Boomers.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Three Dimensions




If you read this blog you know that I watch the news alot. I mean ALOT. MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC, and all the local news channels. Not to mention I check Reuters and the AP, hourly on the internet. Well the other day I was watching the news and I saw an interesting story that got me thinking. Recently, a porn store in south Jackson was busted for selling sex toys. This isn't the first time this has happened in Jackson or Mississippi. What struck me as being funny is that the lead investigator stated that the investigation had being going on for a while and "local citizens had been complaining about the sex toys." What? Were the vibrators coming un-holstered and attacking random people? Did someone get robbed by a criminal using a large plastic penis? Doubtful. With all the money in salaries, gas, time, surveillance, and over-time, I wonder how much this "raid" cost the taxpayers of Jackson? Lets not forget THERE HASN'T BEEN A SINGLE GODDAMN ARREST FOR THE SALE OF DOPE IN JACKSON IN LIKE 8 MONTHS! Are all the tax dollars for law enforcement in Jackson going to "porn investigations?" Most likely. The cops must be really bored. I think someone needs to sit down with the law enforcement of Jackson and have a serious discussion about whats an important crime and whats a silly crime. Dope? Pretty important. A dildo? Not so important. 12 year old kid getting shot in his house? Pretty important. A clerk selling a lady a vibrator? Not so important. The way I see it, if someone wants to buy a "three dimensional object for sexual gratification", thats their business. If someone wants to sling dope, thats everyone's business. Jackson needs to wake the fuck up and prioritize the crimes. We are on our way to having a record year in crime.

Now, all this talk about sex toys and illegality got me thinking. I do alot of thinking. Anyone ever heard of Passion Parties? Throughout my travels and various places I have lived in this great state, I have known several women who have either 1)hosted Passion Parties or 2)attended Passion Parties. Are they doing something illegal? Yup. According to Mississippi law and thus why not subject them to the same punishment as these people in south Jackson? Why not? Most likely because the cops would have to get probable cause, then a warrant, then raid some house where 6 or 7 giggly women are sitting around talking about vibrators and relationships. LOL. Now that would make the best episode of "COPS," ever. Think about it. The cops approach the house and use one of those battering rams to knock down the door. "Get your fucking hands up!!!! Drop the vibrator!!! Get on the ground!!! Now!!!!!" LOL.

See, Passion Parties, along with the Casinos or as we call them in the Great State, "The Boats," are the big giant pink elephants in the room. Everyone knows about them, but you don't talk about them in polite conversation. Let me see if I can do a run down of all the women I know who have told me they have attended Passion Parties (no I'm not going to name names):

Teachers
Mothers
Wives
Jr. Leaguers
Reporters
Rich
Poor
Middle Class
Upper Class
Nymphos
Super Conservatives

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Outlaws




Well kiddies, its been a while since I've been on here. I've been doing some writing and keeping myself busy with insomnia. Ever since Paris went to jail, well, I've just been so distraught I couldn't think. If you buy that, I've got a nice bridge in New York that I can get you a great price on.

Lately, I've been watching a shitload of youtube videos that probably violate some copyright laws. There are a ton of great classic country videos on there and one has got me thinking. If you know me, you know I'm a big fan of classic outlaw country, such as Willie Nelson and Charlie Daniels. I've never been much into mainstream country, although Garth Brooks did grow on me. Sitting up at Hal and Mal's one day, me and a friend were talking about the difference between mainstream country and outlaw country. Just because someone can put a twang in their voice and play a few chords doesn't make them a real country musician, much in the same way that just because a person can put a band-aid on a cut, doesn't make them a doctor.

I have to say that I pretty much despise the Nashville country music scene, or at least what has been passing as country music for the past 20 years or so. Like with the rest of American music, everyone is still living on the accomplishments of artists such as Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. The musicians today are so "produced" that they forget to actually write something meaningful or at least take note of good writers. Nashville is just the southern version of Los Angeles.

American music is an industry of products and service. When those two ideas, producing something and providing a service mix too much, what suffers is creativity. Look in the past and it was just as relevant. When Willie Nelson first showed up in Nashville, no one would listen to his demos and he couldn't get a recording contract to save his life. 50+ albums later and hundreds and hundreds of songs later he is an American Institution.

The problem with Nashville is there are too many people who work on the ancillary side of the production of music. Hundreds of labels owned by a few domineering recording companies, has created only niche markets with too many producers claiming credit on other people's creativity, if there is any. Its disgusting to hear someone claim to be a recording executive who has an MBA and thinks that he knows good music. Well just listen to garbage coming out of Nashville and thats all I hear. Some MBA motherfucker figuring out just how many units can be moved and how to slickly market a new Shania Twain album.

The great thing is that whenever an industry becomes over-saturated with executives and non-creative people, a burgeoning anti-establishment movement arises. In Nashville and across the south, a new outlaw country movement has been taking shape over the last so many years. Artists like Horton Heat, Hank III and Unknown Hinson. People that are trying to get back to a few of the roots and suprise, suprise; actually writing their own material.

Everything comes back around, it just takes time. Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson recorded together at one time, known as The Highwaymen. In their #1 hit, The Highwayman, Johnny Cash says this at the end of the song, and its pretty appropriate for anyone who hopes for better music:

I'll fly a starship

Across the Universe divide

And when I reach the other side

I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can

Perhaps I may become a highwayman again

Or I may simply be a single drop of rain

But I will remainAnd I'll be back again

and again, and again, and again, and again

Friday, June 8, 2007

Apocalypse Wow!


I was just watching MSNBC when Paris Hilton was ordered back to court. Well, thats it folks. The apocalypse is upon us. As Hilton was driving off in the police cruiser, hundreds, literally, hundreds of camera men mobbed the car and swamped it. The cops had to force their way out. Has our society sunk this low where the public is so desperate for information about a rich, non-college educated, convicted, almost completely useless person? I mean, seriously. With everything going on in the world, this is front page news? They have to have live coverage of her going to court for a misdemeanor? So my conclusion is this: this is the 7th sign of the apocalypse and we are all about to explode in a fiery end. I think the next few signs have something to do with the sky turning to the color of sack-cloth and brimstone raining from the heavens. Better check the weather.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fahrenheit 451




Pictured above are some dickhead Nazis burning books in Germany in the 1930s. Incidentally the Nazis were driven from power and their ideology is now compared to anyone who represses ideas, commits atrocities, or enjoys goose-stepping around Florida schools.
Fuming. I'm just sitting here fuming after reading an article about a south Florida school that wants to remove a Cuban children's book from the libraries there. Here is the article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070605/ap_on_re_us/cuba_book_ban
Now I'm a pretty bitter and cynical person, but anyone who knows me, knows that I am a patriot through and through and the one thing I do not back down on is The Bill of Rights. I can't even write much I'm so fucking mad. Just to say this: I bet that the same libraries that this fucking school wants to ban this children's book from, also have copies of Mein Kampf. For you who don't know what that is, its the book Hitler wrote. I can't write anymore, my blood pressure is too fucking high. Fuck that Florida school board, fuck that idiot that proposed banning it and fuck anyone else who wants to ban books. Yea, thats right.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Sins of The Father



No hand can make the clock strike for me the hours that are passed.
-Lord Byron


As the James Ford Seale trial gears up with jury selection, a local media outlet, The Jackson Free Press has been reporting pretty hard core on this Civil Rights era murder case. I am grateful that charges have been brought in this case and I agree that murder should never have a statute of limitations, but I have a problem with the soap box tactics of the JFP in polarizing this issue into "your either with us, or against us." Through this case, the JFP and specifically, Donna Ladd, have found another reason to indict everyone in this state, young and old, as long as they are white, as being culpable in the murders of black victims of racially based Civil Rights era killings. The JFP and Donna Ladd have found it appropriate to advocate for the white citizens of this state to apologize for lynchings, murders, and racially based hate from the past. If people wish to apologize for these types of actions, perhaps people who were there or committed the acts, I say go for it. If someone feels that much guilt that they need to confess, apologize or repair damage they feel responsible for, take the first step and do it. However, and this is a big however, I feel no responsibility for what happened to black victims of racially charged murders or violence during an era, time, period, and place that I did not exist. Make no mistake, I feel very sorry for the families who lost people to senseless violence, I feel sorry for the millions of black people who had to ride at the back of the bus or who could not even eat at a diner with white people. I feel sorry for the fact that a great leader like Dr. Martin Luther King was gunned down by a coward, as was Medgar Evers. Mississippi and the United States lost great minds when these two leaders were murdered. However, I was not responsibly for what happened in any of these cases. I owe no one, any kind of responsibility except for what I do in my life. My family was in this state before statehood and fought on the side of the Confederacy and I do no apologize for this, because I had no hand in those decisions. Very possibly, many of my ancestors in this state, were racists, ignorant, and advocated for Jim Crow laws. I do not apologize for this, because this was not my doing. Many people who might read this, might say, "well, he is just a goddamn racist." No I am not. I don't apologize for the past, because its not my life and if I make a disingenuous apology for those things, I might as well apologize for the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, apologize for Cortez's massacre of the Aztecs and apologize for any other travesty committed against another people. I work very hard in my life to make friends from all walks of life. I count myself very lucky to have black friends, white friends and a best friend from the former Yugoslavia. I apologize for my life and my transgressions, but I will never take blame for what others have wrought. The JFP and Donna Ladd have decided to indict everyone who happens to be white in this state for the crimes of the past. Get the killers, get the conspirators, but I will never allow myself to be lumped into their category. Euripides once said, "the gods visit the sins of the father upon the son." Well, this country was founded on the antithesis of the this Greek maxim. The founders of this country understood that passing the crimes and debts of the father to the son was against justice and righteousness. I agree. I am responsible for myself and no other and I take great pride in that and will not ever apologize for crimes or attitudes that are not my own. So to the JFP and Donna Ladd I am proud of your reporting and helping bring about justice in an old Civil Rights era crime, but never, ever, ever think that you can push me into the category of being a complacent white person who is guilty by association. I push back.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Canned Post


I am very addicted to TCM, that is Turner Classic Movies. Recently, the bastards that own my cable devil box decided that it was time to update the channels. TCM was added, along with some other bullshit channel called Fox Reality Channel. Jesus. I have an intense love for old movies, and according to my friends, old music. I don't really consider these things that old, just undiscovered. I'm happy to find them and hopefully enhance my mind.

Everyone today seems obsessed with new things, or the next big thing. Hell, I guess thats the way its always been. Me and the Panda, of whom lies about reading this blog, were discussing tonight how our generation lacks many of the self sustaining skills that our forebears had. Such as canning fruit. LOL. Yes, canning fruit, we have concluded is a necessary skill that our generation lacks. I posed the idea to the Panda that maybe life is so complicated today that we need this extreme division of labor and skills. Maybe, or maybe I should learn how to can fruit.

Speaking of reading this blog, I'm not sure many people do. I have been keeping my counters going, but I'm beginning to suspect that there are only about 3 real live people who actually keep up with this record of my thoughts. One of them is me. I wonder what makes a good blog? I could start blogging about sex, drugs and violence, but that just seems so passe. Alot of the popular blogs I have noticed are technology based, such as blogs about Macs or Ipods or whatever the fuck people buy today. I'm pretty far behind the times.

Watched the Liddell/Jackson fight the other day. The undercards were good, but the main event seemed like a waste of time. Yea, yea, I know. Its really hard and UFC is no joke, and no, I'm not going to get in the ring, but come on. Liddell got knocked out in like a minute. Please.

Drank a bit this weekend, however last night I refrained from excess. I just wasn't in the mood. All my friends at the bar were hitting the shots pretty hard and I'm not a shot guy, so I left a little early.

Ramble, ramble ramble. Blah, blah, blah.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lets Look At Television!


I was doing a little research today on the Neilsen ratings and how they are obtained. The first way these ratings are gathered is through an extensive system of demographic surveys, in that certain people and families are selected and asked to keep a journal of what they watch, when they watch. This way is pretty basic and is used by all types of industries to gather information about product use. The second, way, however is pretty shady. Through devices planted in cable boxes and the like, called Set Meters, Neilsen ratings are gathered about what your watching. Ergo, if your watching ABC on Monday, someone, somewhere is going to know about it and use that information to give favorable ratings to shows. I'm sure my television watching habits buck the trend. My day typically consists of The Discovery Times Channel, 5 or 6 hours of news from all the news sources, and Star Trek on Spike TV. I cannot remember the last time I actually watched network television in prime time. The only time I'm actually watching CBS is when Lincoln Financial is showing Ole Miss on a Saturday.

The problem with the Neilsen ratings system is it reports according to view watching habits, but does not reflect content. Now I know what your thinking, thats what the Emmys are for, well I don't give two shits about the damn Emmys or any awards shows for that matter. I'm talking about measuring quality. Unfortunately, today, there really isn't a way to measure quality of a television program or channel.

With the rise of the internet into the entertainment medium, coming close to punching television's lights out, big networks and cable channels are getting scared. I don't know too many people today who don't get at least part of their information and news from the internet, not to mention fluff entertainment sources like youtube. Many moons ago, the prophecy was that the integration of all entertainment and information technology would occur in a few years. The great problem is that big money corporations like Newscorp, and GE have delayed the transition because they can't yet discover how to profit from just streaming an entire channel online. Sure, they dish out a few programs here and there online, but nothing that significant.

Why are they so scared? Obviously, losing ad revenues is a frightening concept for these big companies, but I say isn't it time we as a society stop consolidating power and money with entertainment? Why did Jerry Seinfeld need to make a billion dollars an episode? Why do commercials on The Super Bowl cost a ca-trillion dollars a second? Entertainment is meant to be entertainment, not a cornerstone of the GNP.

I listen to a lot of public radio. One of the best shows is Ira Glass' This American Life. A while back they did a show about entertainment and television and featured a segment regarding a television station a guy tried to develop. As strange as it might sound, it was called The Puppy Channel. This guy, who happened to be a retired television and marketing guy, had been in the hospital for some extensive surgery. During his time there he watched a lot of television and was disgusted with the bile that was flung at him vaguely representing entertainment. He came up with the idea of a channel that just showed images of puppies doing funny puppy stuff. After getting out of the hospital he did some research and filmed a pilot. In all of his testing audiences he got higher ratings than Court TV and a few other garbage current television stations. His idea was so basic and so poignant that it really stuck with me. Puppies on television, no voiceovers, no commercials, but paid for with product placement of dog food and other stuff related to dogs. After pitching the idea to a few executives and companies he was laughed out of the building, despite having the extensive market research showing that the Puppy Channel could be more successful than several current shit channels.

This idea got me really thinking. Channels like this could be great. The Landscape Channel. Just sweeping views of valleys and nature, set to classical music. How about The Job Channel, where jobs are listed from all over the country and people just discuss what they do? I think its time to rethink what we want television to do. Neilsen be damned.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Open 24 Hours A Day



Only a few Sopranos episodes left. Sad. David Chase is a great writer and creator of some incredible shows. I am also a big Northern Exposure fan. I'm really torn on whether I think Tony will end up getting killed. Tonight's episode was pretty violent and set the stage for more to come, however, with Chase at the helm, like with the end of Northern Exposure, don't expect the usual ending with resolutions to all the plots. Chase has a great ability to chop up a traditional linear story and really get the audience sucked in. Its like coming into the middle of a movie and even though your pissed because you missed the first 30 minutes, the dialogue and story are so strong, you have to stick around.
This weekend would qualify as my Lost Weekend. Literally, lawyers, guns, and money. All weekend. I didn't get to sleep until 8 this morning, if thats any indication of how the past few daze went. I'm at that point where I'm so exhausted I can't really think straight and after watching The Sopranos, I'm just trying to focus.
I've been focusing pretty hard on a few songs, recently. John Prine's Sam Stone and The Rolling Stone's Thru and Thru. Also, tonight I heard this song called Shenandoah, which is a traditional song and no one knows where it came from. My friends like to pick at me for only listening to older music, but thats just me. Its like when scientists and historians talk about sunken ships that carried gold. There is more gold in sunken ships than in all the vaults on dry land. My point is, that great music isn't just produced today or on some greatest hits compilation. If you do a little digging, you can find treasure.
Well, not much for today, kiddies. See you next time.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Slow News Day

Weekend is here. Good. I'm tired of just being lazy during the week; I need to up my game to the weekend. I am trying to plot on what to do this weekend, but poker armageddon has been called off and the band listings aren't looking to promising. Not looking good for the home team. I think this weekend I'm going to try to discover something completely new to do. Or at least go to a bar I have never been to.

By the way, locals, if you missed the news the other day, Bert Case, a local news anchor was chased by a wild dog. I am glad ol' Bert wasn't hurt, but man was it funny. There is nothing more funny than an older man wildy flailing his arms around like a windmill.

So fair reader, there you go. Two pretty mundane posts in one day. I haven't been feeling too inspired lately, but rest assured, The Expatriate is hard at work and I'll get back to regular postings soon. Keep the faith, bitches.

I'm still inside the box




Saw Barry Leach last night up at Hal and Mals. He and his band were terribly good. All the while that I am sitting in the restaurant section of H&M's, the "Chick Ball" is going on next door in the Red Room and the Big Room. I had thought about making an appearance over there, but changed my mind once I realized there was going to be spoken word poetry, intermixed with the music. Now, don't get the wrong idea, I do love poetry. Billy Collins, Robert Frost, to name a few, however I just don't feel like drinking a Bud Light and being one of only a handful of men at an event called the "Chick Ball" while I'm listening to an angry lesbian. Sorry if I'm just that much of a dick.
G and the Hippy hung out with me and we sampled some of the new concoctions that H&M's had come up with. I advise everyone to get a taste of their vodka infused stuff and try out the new Lazy Magnolia Indian blend or whatever its called. Nice and spicy.
I'm trying to decide what to do with the rest of today. I still have yet to register for a few things I need to and I have to finish an application or two. With any luck I'll have a job pretty soon and then its all bitches and 22s. Hells yea.
I'm still mulling over the idea of a southern blogazine, a word which I think I have coined. I think it would be a great idea to organize something similar to the Chicagoist and the rest of Gothamist's websites, somehow integrating southern cities with the same flavor. I have researched Movable Type, which is the type of blogging software which powers these websites, or at least some that are similar.
If anyone who reads this blog would be interested in contributing to an idea revolving around a blogazine site for the Jacktown area or anywhere in Mississippi, drop me a message.
A point of interest: I suggest everyone to check out this fellow blogger who does a fantastic job. Months ago, this blog was suggested to me and I think its great. Enjoy.
http://www.frascogna.com/lou/

Sunday, May 13, 2007

In the End, He Hated Big Brother




To say I'm sad school is over, would be a blatant lie. I don't and will not miss school. I have spent the greater portion of my life living under the thumb and schedule of professors and teachers of one type or another and I am so sick of it. Now its over and I'm relieved. My life has be an unfettered stream of unrelenting stress and now this monkey is off my back. Obviously, I will miss getting to see some friends regularly, but we all move in different directions and I know they will be fine. So to academia, professors, buildings, exams, and all the judgments that come with these things; kiss my ass. There is a great song by Sam Cooke called, "A Change is Gonna Come." A change is here for my life.


Before I came to law school I had reached a pretty stable mental and emotional state. Slowly, but surely, law school whittled me down to this near apathetic cynical bastard and I'm so sick of it. I am ready for the next evolution of my life, and despite any potential hardships it might bring, anything has to be better than this. I might be just jaded and forget that plenty of people have it worse, but they don't inhabit my skin.

Graduation day wasn't a great sigh of relief, but more like a series of pre-requisite rituals and stances to be undertaken in order to get on a plane. Think of it like going through a metal detector with a plate in your head. First you walk through, it goes off, you remove your keys and attempt again. Finally you have to point out to the TSA guy that its just a metal plate in your head and not a dangerous weapon. Pursuant to policy, though, they scan you with the wand and pat you down. Satisfied your not a threat to the plane, you embark on your journey.

I have truly no idea what I plan on doing with my life. I have sent out some resumes and emailed a few people, but nothing really strikes my fancy. I enjoy writing and would someday like to make that permanent career, if I could ever get it off the ground. This evolution of my life will most likely entail me trying to pay down my debt and get on my feet. I hope I can plant the seeds of creativity to envision something more rewarding for stage 5 or 6 of my life. Its like a solid growth mutual fund; you have to contribute into order to build equity for the future. This blog is like a steady investment and I'm trying my best to keep it up.

So I'm done and I'm happy for that. I plan on spending the rest of my life being as happy as I can and unmemorializing law school like you would a flat tire.


Nobody said it was easy

Oh it's such a shame for us to part

Nobody said it was easy

No one ever said it would be so hard

I'm going back to the start

-Coldplay, The Scientist

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Quickie-Update

Well school is done. I have finished and if grades prevail, I should be sitting fat, down south. The graduation ceremony was fine, despite being a bit warm under my ritual robes of a Doctor of Law. Mother's day is tomorrow, so remember to pick up a little something for your ma. I don't have much for this post, because I'm a little busy, but I felt that I needed to post something to let you, fair reader, know that I am still alive and exams couldn't kill me. Hopefully, this evening, I'm going to work up a good post. I have a few ideas about a topic I have been meaning to discuss. Stay tuned and check back soon. Until then, Mahalo.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Newspeak


In this little hamlet that I reside there are newspapers. Big surprise, huh? Well the two more predominant newspapers here are the Clarion Ledger and The Jackson Free Press. The Ledger is a fairly old, established Mississippi newspaper and The Jackson Free Press is a relatively new, alternative newspaper. For whatever reason, The Jackson Free Press continuously rails against the Ledger. A possible cause could be that the parent company of The Ledger, Gannet Corporation, has attempted to edge out the Free Press through some rather shady business practices. In response, the Free Press is constantly on the offensive against anything The Ledger does.


Recently, I was hanging out at one of my usual haunts, downing a few beers and discussing the situation with a, lets say, "executive" with The Ledger. I inquired to this person about why the Free Press despises The Ledger so much. The "executive" responded with, "You know, I really don't know. No one really noticed their little paper until they started whining about everything." I asked the "executive" about the business practices, but this person claimed no knowledge of that.


After a while we started discussing what the problems are with both papers. The Ledger is outdated. Their features revolve around knitting and have no concept of how to use the internet. The Free Press is self-righteous and more than not, prefers to make the news instead of report it. In the end, both papers are sub-par with sub-par editors. I have decided not to take a side in their little war, but sit back and watch them both look like fools. Don't get me wrong, though. I think both papers have many good reporters, I think the problem starts at the top of both of them.


The worst problem about these papers is the polarization that goes on with each. On one side you have the liberal camp, the Free Press, and the other, the established conservative camp, The Ledger. Both sides intensely look down at one another as being stupid. This is indicative about our culture today. Everything descends to polarization because people like the editors and people in charge at each of these media outlets push their agendas as the "right" one. With blogging and internet posting engaging the public on each of these media's websites, people become involve and fall in line behind their leaders. They cease to think for themselves, but merely rely on what is told to them through these media websites.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dumb Fucking Celebrities




Years and years ago, back in the dim times, before the last ice age ended, a little show popped up on television called "The Simple Life." Now when I heard about this show, I have to say I was initially excited. I know, I know, dear reader. "How can the Expatriate confess this sin! He is a critic through and through. Well I am, but we all have our failings. Perfection is not of this earth. Anywho, I began watching the show with the hope of this "fish out of water" story heralding a new era where everyone would wise up about just how distant and delusional celebrities are. At the start, it was funny. I liked watching Paris and Nicole fall face first into a big steaming pile of horse shit. I liked when Paris asked, with all sincerity, "what is walmart?" Now I'm just sick of it. After a couple of seasons, their stock has just risen. A few sex tapes later, and they are "businesswomen." Jesus.
Lets do the rundown of how detached celebrities are.
1) Tom Cruise- what can you say about this guy? I love to hear that he has "handlers." LOL. Its like he is a rare white tiger who everyone is hoping will breed. I can only hope for sterility. Whoops. Too late.
2) John Travolta- Vincent Vega recently was quoted as saying "I'm as big as Elvis and Marilyn." Yea right. The last great movie you did was "Pulp Fiction." You and Tom need to leave the Scientology at the alien temple or wherever the hell you worship and maybe borrow a few of Cruise's handlers.
3) Alec Baldwin- Nice tirade on the answering machine. Calling your twelve year old daughter a "pig." Gosh, I just know she'll grow up with no emotional issues.
4) Paris, Britney, Nicole, and Lindsey- Remember that episode of "Southpark" where everyone was shopping at that store called "Dumb Slut" or something like that? LOL.
There are tons of shows like "The Simple Life" around. Celebrity Fit Club, I love New York, and the Surreal World as just a few examples. As you can tell I have gotten tired of using quotes. Anywho, I propose a new idea for a celebrity show. This show would be called "Really Real Life." They get a bunch of self absorbed celebrities that can't keep their fucking mouths shut or keep from doing stupid shit and make them live together. Sounds familiar, right? Wrong. In this show, these celebrities agree to freeze all their assets and money for the period of one year. They all have to move to south Mississippi and live in a 4 bedroom, small house. On top of that, since they don't have money, they all have to use their own skills and educations to get jobs. Local regular jobs, not a bunch of made up shit. Then they have to pay rent, food, living expense and everything. They can only take with them the clothes on their backs. No cellphones, pdas, computers, nothing. They have to aquire everything as they go along. I think it would be great. Morgan Spurlock, the guy from "Supersize Me" did this experiment with his wife for 30 days on his show, "30 Days." It was a real struggle for him and his wife, and they seem like level-headed people. Imagine Tom Cruise, John Travola, Paris Hilton, Rosie O'Donnell and Alec Baldwin trying to get a job at a school or factory. So thats my pitch, someone get on the phone to Hollywood and get it produced.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Future




Its such a nice day I decided to sit out on my balcony at my apartment. Its almost a perfect 71 degrees with a slight breeze. This week has been an unending, escalating horror story of stress in my life and today I had to realize that I can't keep worrying about everything. There is so much other shit to worry about instead of papers, exams, bar applications and other frivolous shyte. I'm sick to death of the bullshit my professors keep churning out about getting everything done on time. I'm so tired of these arbitrary deadlines. I just can't take anymore of this crap seriously. I took 3 years out of my life to stay in school and finish an advanced degree. Now at the end, instead of a congratulations and a high paying job, I get informed that the market is too saturated and a "good luck" with a kick on the ass. Gee, thanks. Just from estimating, I'd say
that about 25% of my class have jobs lined up for after school.

You know, I should probably use this for a basis of a writing career. Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, throughout his career, was searching for "The Death of The American Dream." That was his generation, so could my mission be to search for my generation's Dream? What would my generation's Dream be? I have mulled over this idea a few times. Maybe instead of a rebellion against establishment, maybe my generation is meant to "re-establish." Found the new cornerstone of society in a better image than something flighty like the hippies and less centralized like the early Gen Xers. I guess I'm a Gen Xer, but I don't feel like it. Gen X has always been marked with cynicism and critical thought. These ideas, though, are the afterthought of a previous generation feeling guilty about their own past and passed on to their children. Why the fuck should my generation be bound by these rules?

This post is pretty rambling because I just can't get this generational thing out of my mind.

I've seen some of the future leaders of my generation and I have to say that I don't trust the bulk of those fuckers. A bunch of over achieving, soulless, soccer moms and future politicos.

Future Writers:
1) Fratire Male Writers
2) Self-Deprecating Oversexualized Women
3) Ph.D.s in Pop Culture
4) Sport Statiticians
5) Musicologists with advanced work in Hip-Hop as a literary form

Future Politicians:
1) Standard White Republicans
2) Housewife "I'm still 'down' with my kids' Politico
3) Retrocrats that only talk about Reagan and Goldwater

Future Business Leaders:
1) Socially Awkward Nerd that invented the next Internet
2) Face Guys
3) Soccer Mom/Attorney/Soulless Bitch
4) Publishers and Editors of Independent Press magazines and newspapers

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Generational War




Whats this generation gulf between us? Take a look at the captains of industry, politics and just your local friendly neighborhood bosses. There is clearly something going on. I have bitched and moaned for years to anyone who would listen about the problem that exists between my generation (people in their 20s) and the generation above (people in their 40s and 50s.) Johnny Cash wrote a good song about it, something about a different tune and about young people dancing a new step that the old cats of the world don't understand. Whats funny is that song was written from the Baby Boomers to the Greatest Generation. The Baby Boomers were supposed to shake up the world completely, change everything. They were supposed to be the Hippy generation, the generation of change, the generation of hope. Everything they stood for, now, has gone by the wayside in favor of praying for their Social Security and co-opting great songs of the Sixties for Cadillac commercials. It used to be perverse to utilize a song for a strictly shitty commercial purpose, but now its the only way. Its become old hat, but its still sickening to people that cared. The goddamn Hippies who grew up to be investment bankers didn't realize that they passed down their ideas, whether song or literature, to a generation who would get saturated with it. My generation has grown up revering the same things the Baby Boomers did, the difference being we can't appreciate them and use them. They are like isolated instances, only reserved for a previous time. The Baby Boomers have raped the planet, spent wildly without recourse, and convinced a generation, my generation, to be subservient.



Plenty of times I have talked about jobs on here. Always I shift the blame to the Baby Boomers for not retiring or just getting the hell out of the way. A professor of mine recently commented that he was happy that I would have to pay his Social Security and he wouldn't have to worry because he and his ilk (the rest of the Baby Boomers) would be taken care of. In a sarcastic tone, he stated that my generation was another story, basically implying we are screwed. What my professor failed to realize is with that kind of attitude, which I hear everyday from a generation that just can't keep up with mine, is that we will have the keys eventually. Soon, whether the Boomers like it or not, they will have to turn the keys to the country over to my generation. Social Security is a privilege in this country, not a right. Remember that professor.



The generation gulf only gets bigger everyday. Recently a friend of mine tried to explain a relatively new idea about parenting to an older Boomer. The Boomer just couldn't wrap his elderly head around it. He didn't believe it. Its just like back in the Wright Brothers days. I can just see it. Some old timer sitting on a porch, swearing up and down that man will never fly. No way, he would shout to the heavens. Flash forward a couple of decades and Japanese Zeros are bombing Pearl Harbor. The gulf has always been there, and I'm sick of trying to span in backwards to let the Boomers catch up. I'm sick of job retraining, Internet courses for non-traditional students and "Video Professor" for soon-to-be retirees trying to figure out how to operate Myspace. All of these are code for "I'm stuck in my ways and I hate technology." My patience is wearing thin for anyone who cannot at least accept new things and new ways.



So whats the answer? Do we bridge the gulf and help the Boomers retire peacefully? Maybe there will be a generational war of attrition with my generation rising up and crushing the establishment. Maybe it will be a bloodless revolution in which we just simply put the Boomers out to pasture and let them quietly slip away. All I do know is my generation has a lot of shit to fix that has been fucked up by an older, self-righteous, war mongering, deficit spending, bunch of lunatics. I'm sick of them and I'm ready for my generation to get their turn at running this big blue planet.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut: 1922-2007




Kurt Vonnegut died today. He was one of the last of a great generation of writers among the likes were Heller, Kerouac, Thompson and a few others. Vonnegut was part of the 'Greatest Generation,' but saw the horror of WWII and was not blinded by any patriotic virtues. This was reflected in his writing throughout his life regarding the ridiculousness of war and the winding corridors of insanity. He was 84 years old and suffered brain trauma from a fall in his apartment.

Everyone loves "Breakfast of Champions" and "Slaughterhouse-5" but I have to say that my favorite was "Galapagos." I encourage everyone to grab a Vonnegut book and get lost in it. Its pretty easy to do.

Happy Trails Billy Pilgrim. See you across the River.

Money and Death




Yesterday we had our 'scared straight' infomercial about repaying out student loans. I expected to see a mangled older guy wearing prison blues to come in and scream at us about being a bitch in prison because he couldn't make his payments. Fortunately, my imagination is never as good as reality. We all crammed ourselves into a room and a contracted company displayed powerpoint presentation featuring such hits as, "Make a Budget! Don't Forget to Save!" and everyone's favorite, "Consolidation Blues." After a full hour of this tripe, I noticed that a recurring phrase was "death or permanent physical incapacitation will discharge your loans." Its like they were alluding to the fact that the only way you get out of paying is dying or suffering a horrible head injury. As if there is no way to pay your loans in full and the only fate you have to look forward to is being 80 and still paying a couple of grand a month in loan payments or dying and getting out of it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Way Too Busy

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately, gang. I'm trying to handle some school stuff that is kicking my ass these past few days. Also, I have like a million other things going on in my life. School has become a burden on my life and I'm exhausted with it. The countdown is on, though.

I did want to mention, I'm not a Sanjaya fan. It seems like everyone has signed onto "Idolatry" in this country, but not this blogger. I promise I'll blog soon with some good shit.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Media Pushes Agenda: Film at Eleven




So I went and watched Karaoke yesterday. One of the local self righteous media outlets hosted Karaoke with the majority of people singing coming from the staff of this media outlet. To say it was bad is putting it lightly. And not bad in a funny way, but more like bad in a sad way. Wow. I am really downing on them. I guess lately I have just been so pissed at their publication due to their agenda. What the fuck happened with the media world, where everyone has to have an agenda? Recently this media publication had a lead story on a local plaintiff's attorney who is running for governor. On the interior of the story the headline read: "Jesus rode a donkey." Jesus Christ, if that isn't a bias, one sided endorsement of a candidate, I don't know what is. Also, this plaintiff's attorney and Jesus have some SERIOUS disparities when it comes to character. LOL. Anywho, I'm just sick to death of media and local media for that matter, pushing a specific agenda based on their view of the world. Either make the news or report it, you stupid fucks, make a goddamn choice.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The New Pornography




I think it was "Fight Club" that made the point that the new pornography was IKEA and home furnishings. People staying up late, ordering nesting materials from Scandinavian companies that deal in decor for your home that produces the same rush of endorphins that heroin does. I find myself drawn to that, but in a different way. Its pretty late and I have found that I am drawn to the new home channel on television. Instead of some great public access show with either local wrestling or some crazy preacher smoking dope, here in the 'Burbs of Jacktown we have our own brand of local porno. Its the new home channel. "Great new homes, starting in the $140s! Beautiful 2 year old starter home in the 'Burbs, only $795 a month!" With what I pay in rent, this channel is like a forbidden fruit, luring me in, and at the very least teasing me like a stripper named Candy who is wearing not much more than a napkin.


The people of my generation dream and fantasize not necessarily about the furnishings of the home, like in "Fight Club" but of the home itself. My generation is one of indentured servants who only stay up late, fantasizing about owning a home, free and clear, as if we were looking at a copy of "Hustler."

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Redneckin'



I have discovered the greatest country music singer/songwriter of all time. Ok, wait. Strike that. I have discovered two of the greatest country/western singer /songwriters of all time. Hells bells, these boys is where its at! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, may I present Billy Joe Shaver and Unknown Hinson. For whatever reason tonight, seeing as I'm bored as shit and can't drag myself to write anything meaningful on here or to my stories I'm working on, I felt it was my God given duty to investigate kick ass singers who participate in my favorite cartoon, "Squidbillies." Unknown Hinson is a country singer who voices the main character in "Squidbillies" and Billy Joe Shaver performs the theme song to the show. Both equally great in their lyrics and styles, I suggest every one of you sons of bitches get your asses on Myspace and look them the hell up. Jesus, I'm feeling pretty redneck tonight.
Since I'm feeling pretty redneck tonight, I'm going to red-state it up for you bitches out there, so here are a few of my gripes, hates, and favorite things, speaking from my redneck perspective this eveningtime.
Gripes:
Frank Melton: What the fuck is his problem? Get with the program and do you damn job.
Censorship: Censor this, motherfucker.
The Clarion Ledger: Wake the hell up and smell the corruption.
The Jackson Free Press: Quit patting yourself on the back, your not that important.
Jam Bands: Get a damn job or play better music.
Jackasses: Yea, I can't stand you bastards.
Liberals: Not everything is Bush's fault. Just most things.
Conservatives: Not everything can be solved by Hank Williams Jr. Just most things.
NRA: Your membership dues are too fucking expensive.
ACLU: Your not the sole protector of the Constitution. I am.

Hates:
Drugs: Crack and Crystal and all that other shit.
50 year old women pretending to be 24: Eventually even Botox can't fix everything.
No new episodes of "Squidbillies:" Hey Williams Street, get off your asses and crank out some more.
People that talk during that survivalist movie I was watching today at the Crossroads Film Festival: SHUT THE FUCK UP.
Snails: Move faster, bitches.
Giant trucks: Your too loud, tone that engine down a notch.

Favorite things:
Billy Joe Shaver and Unknown Hinson: Boys, you need to stop playing just Texas and Georgia, respectively and haul your asses to the Great State.
My car: Badfuckingass.
My new golf club I won: Yea, thats right. I won it.
Myspace: Hi, I'm the Expatriate, and I am an addict.
Fenians and Hal and Mals: Obviously.
School: Psyche.

Ok, I'm tired. I'll post tomorrow, hopefully, something bette




Monday, March 26, 2007

Bubbles the Magnificent



Not to shatter anyone's ego, but law is based on tricks. Not just any tricks, but cheap magic tricks. Ever been to a magic show with a really terrible children's magician with a name like Bubbles? Well, the majority of lawyers in the United States use these same campy tricks. People outside the law are usually shocked and horrified when faced with legal troubles. Due to the mafia-esque style of Bar Associations, regular people are basically prohibited solving these problems on their own. Who do they call? Bubbles the magician, err...I mean John Q. Lawyer, esq. Johnny Lawyer steps in and with a wave of the hand and a slip of the wrist, magic is done and the problem solved, or at least brought to a resolution. And where does this leave our regular people? Out 5 grand for some basic problem. Someone recently asked me how can you tell if your friends with a lawyer. My answer? If you have his cell number, your most likely friends. If you just have his office number, your just another mark.

As a student of this illustrious field I've experienced another aspect of the cheap magicians of this area of employment. I have worked for several cheap magicians, some good, some not so good, but one of the common threads among these people is their fear of sharing their secrets. Just like any magician on any end of the spectrum, most lawyers have an intense fear of losing their jobs or losing their clients, therefore you have to squeeze them for their card tricks. As a student, we are all seen as future competition, therefore, learning the law is incredibly difficult when trying to sit at the feet of different Houdinis.

The endgame is eventually you figure out how your master magician does his tricks and he slips from being Houdini to being Bubbles. The cycle starts anew and you as the student become Bubbles trying to fool the public into believing the coin really did dissappear into your hand.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Eastern Pandas




My apartment is a fucking wreck. Books everywhere, empty diet coke cans, and my sink is overflowing with dishes. I'm realizing that school is trying to kill me under an avalanche of shit that is piling up in my house. I have tons of crap due, papers, class work, applications, tests, bills and other miscellaneous garbage that is tugging at my pants leg like a little child wanting attention.
So today I was talking to a friend of mine who for the purposes of this blog, I will call Panda. So me and Panda are talking and discussing how we share the characteristic of being packrats. Panda has moved recently and decided not to take much in the way of personal belongings, preferring a minimalist existence in her new surroundings. I am very envious and have always wanted to eliminate some of the crap the permeates every area of my life. Ideally, I have a very Eastern view of how an apartment should look. Panda feels the same way. The difference between our views, however is in the area of air conditioning. Panda's new place of residence lacks air conditioning and her hippie leanings make that situation just fine. For this blogger, though, air conditioning is a must and no matter how much I do love the environment and saving the whales and all that other shit, I am a Mississippi boy and despise being hot.
I am always amazed when I talk to Panda. Free spirit does not get close to describing her. Her life is almost lived on a whim and she just goes with the flow. I consider myself a fan of having adventures and traveling, but Panda lives her life in the thick of adventures. When everything comes down to brass tacks, I am a planner and a homebody. Maybe being a planner and a homebody has enabled all this shit in my apartment to pile up. It might be time to get in the thick of some adventures before I drown.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Politically Incorrect: Femotalk




The other night I was hanging out at one of the local watering-holes. As I sat there, enjoying the King of Beers, something interesting dawned on me. Isn't it funny how whenever I'm at the bar something interesting dawns on me? Anywho, as I sat there sipping my drink I started to think about how the arts in Mississippi have been taken over by women. Being a social libertarian/anarcho-music critic/feminist/politico, I am very much a fan of equality and suffrage and all those other politically correct standards everyone needs to be behind, however, when exactly did men cease having a say in art? I guess that is sort of a broad statement, but as I sat at the bar, pondering this, in the midst of an "art like gala," I noticed that the people hosting were women, the people running the game were women, and basically the majority of people attending this thing were women. Now, I don't look gift horses in the mouth and I was happy to find myself knee deep in pu...women...but I just started thinking that where do men contribute to Mississippi art, in all its forms today? Sure, there are tons of male writers from Mississippi and lots of painters who are men from Mississippi and just about every bar has an all male group playing cover songs, but when you truly think about it, prominent men in Mississippi are drifting more and more to other fields, outside the arts. Additionally, women are firmly taking over the arts, especially in literature. Southern literature. Jill Connor Browne and her fellow women have spawned a new form of female literature from the south that I shall name right here, and now: I dub female literature from the south that has to do with divorce/self deprecating humor/women's issues/female empowerment----------Femotalk. Yes, Femotalk and its other artistic outreaches now have co-opted all art in the South. Maybe its always been this way and I'm just noticing, but I could sure do with another Bill Faulkner these days.

Hip-Hop




Ok, I haven't talked about music in a few days, so I thought I would. Whats my problem with Hip-Hop? Well the biggest problem I have with rap and Hip-Hop is that, today, there is a serious lack of social consciousness being sold. Sure, there are some great rappers out there who still talk about serious issues, such as Mos Def, but on the whole, Hip-Hop is just selling a lifestyle to the masses. Whether it be inner city poor youth who embrace the glamorous lifestyle of Bentleys and 22s, or the white suburbanite kids who despise conformity and find their outlet in P.Diddy, everyone seems duped into believing the hype. Here in Jackson, there are several local rappers who bill themselves as the real deal, however I still find it hard to believe. Just looking at some of their websites and Myspace pages makes me wonder about whether or not their is a real future for Hip-Hop. Not only are the kids being lured into buying into an unattainable lifestyle, but rappers just starting out buy into the same thing. Basically, Hip-Hop is now crushed into an "American Idol" type business structure. A million rappers try out and only 1 gets a shot. However, there is no Simon or Paula or even a Randy. There is no stop-gap to keep out the shit. In the end, local rappers play dress up and promote a lifestyle they don't even have. Who eats it in the end? The kids with disposable income.

I guess what I am trying to say is selling a lifestyle does not last. That is a short term gain, because the same kids who buy into the lifestyle at an early age, tire of it as they grow older and understand the truths of the world. Hopefully.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Be Quiet, Be Calm



Be quiet. Better yet, shut the fuck up. Lately, it seems like everything and everyone is shouting. Whether its Best Buy's color scheme and blasting advertisements from the television section or that idiot that was sitting next to me at the redlight while pumping some Drrty South hardcore rap. How about the dickface using the leaf blower outside my window at 7 in the morning. Goddammit!! My professor at school using shouting as emphasis and the girl at the bar who can't help but laugh every few minutes because she had too much cocaine and too many cranberry and vodkas.
Lately, silence and quiet time has become a rare commodity in my life. The street value of quiet time is skyrocketing in my world, passed crack and heroin. If I could buy quiet time from a dealer named Lobo, I would. In fact, I'd buy it by the kilo.
I'm going to be taking a short hiatus from blogging for a few days to settle some business that I have been putting off.
Be well, dear reader, I shall return.