Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Like a Lock



Ah, the great women post. I'm sure everyone has been waiting on this, or not. I don't really give a fuck. But to the point. I'll never understand them. Women, I mean. A different species. We share the bulk of DNA with them, yet, for a few proteins, we split, into two different genders, equipped with different ideas, genitalia, and genetically designed goals. They are truly the ultimate mystery. I have, and most likely, will always feel like a freshmen talking to the captain of the cheerleading team. Lost, my friends, truly lost. All in all, I remain stuck in the game, constantly pursuing.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

War



I've been very reluctant to blog about the War in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most considerably because I have several friends who have served in both theaters. By the grace of God, all have returned back to the U.S. and more importantly, the Great State, however I find myself weary of an unending conflict with no discernable goals. This statement has been reiterated many times over by talking heads on more blogs and televisions shows than worth mentioning, however, I find that I need to say my piece on it.

I believe that the United States Military is the greatest in the world. We have the best technology, we control the air, sea and space. All other armies in the world stand mute in the face of the sheer destructive power of our men and materials. Including China, so don't give me any bullshit about a billion man army. You can have all the men you want, but in today's warfare, one of our submarines can handle the worst China, or any other third world shit hole could ever dish out.

With this being said, though, I find the War that we have been embroiled in to be dragging on. We are now fighting a civil war, in two countries that do not deserve our time. I'm ready for our troops to return home, triumphant in the fact that a dictator of despicable means, his ilk, and their cronies, lie as dead as the dust that comprises, Iraq.

No Civil War.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I Love the Word, "Anniversaire"




I didn’t realize it until just now, after 3 Evan Williams, that my anniversaire had passed without me noticing. I have been blogging now for a year. A YEAR, PEOPLE. I guess I’m not going to really celebrate it, but it’s a major accomplishment for me. I have been writing (on and off) solidly for a year. Even though this wasn’t a New Year’s resolution for last year, I feel like it should have been. So it is.

Back to my anniversaire. I’m happy that I have been blogging for a year. For all my stupid accomplishments, degrees, and accolades, writing continuously (on and off) honestly makes me happy. It honestly makes me happy. Its worth repeating. There isn’t just a shitload of stuff in this life that honestly makes me happy, but writing is chief among them, and given, I’m not a very good writer compared to the giants out there, I’m happy with myself and I’m happy to be here. So enjoy the next evolution of my writing, dear reader. Thank you for sticking around with me.

Sincerely yours,


The Ole Miss Expatriate, borne of blood, raised in the Great State and still kicking, despite the wishes of too many to be named.

What I Have in Common with Anthony Bourdain




Before I unceremoniously removed my cable I used to watch a lot of Tony Bourdain. One night, while enjoying an evening by the fire in my fortified mansion in an undisclosed location in the Great State, I noticed Bourdain on a different show. It was not his regular show, “No Reservations,” of which I am a huge fan, but it was a special in which he worked at a restaurant in his hometown of New York. Not managing and schmoozing, but working in the kitchen, busting his ass. Bourdain is such a smart ass, it was nice to see him getting cussed out and making tons of mistakes. LOL. Nothing against Tony, I think he is a good writer and host, and from what I hear, a damn good chef.

Anywho, Bourdain used a word that has become of late, one of my favorites: Civilized. I guess in living here at the top of the Great State, in a suburban hell, I have come to appreciate the more civilized things in life. A civilized drink at a good bar, civilized conversation with cosmopolitan people, and civilized driving. Yes, lately dear reader, your Expatriate has been in a few fender benders. None my fault, mind you, but they have made me realize that people squished into a small suburban area, with only a handful of roads and horrible traffic, combine for a goulash of death and destruction on the Eisenhower Interstate System. I persist, though; ever pushing my boat against the current.

Back to Bourdain. When he used the word ‘civilized’ it made me just appreciate him more. We are not talking about high class blue bloods, sitting in a arm-chairs, smoking cigars and discussing bilateral negations with Iran. No, Bourdain and I are talking about the comforts of life. Art for art’s sake. Locally brewed beer. An old bench, that despite it’s age, still manages to relieve your ankles. Civilized is cutting through the bullshit, getting rid of the cellophane and just relaxing. Slow down for a minute, dear reader, and try to be a little more civilized. I suggest you also watch where your driving, too. That might be a certain Expatriate in front of you.

The Public Broadcasting Smackdown!




What is the problem with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, these days? I heard the other day that NPR fired its CEO because it wants someone more forward looking? Well, I have to agree. In the past so many years, I have become a huge fan of public television and public radio. Anyone that knows me, though, that I have to have a gripe about these two respected institutions.

Let’s start with public television, gang. Well, I think its pledge time on public television, I’m not too sure though, considering I can barely stand to turn on the damn thing. The past two weeks has been “Mostly Wretched Music Week.” What might that mean, dear reader? Well let’s just say there is a good bit of Lawrence Welk, Scottish Songsmiths and some terrifying opera. Ok, seriously. Who exactly is public television going after as its audience, these days? 73 year old grannies who dream of visiting Scotland? Lord. As I stated above, I am a devoted fan, but this is just garbage. Do they honestly expect me to donate money when this is the shit they are trying to entice me with? Now to their credit over at public television, I did see a nice documentary about Elvis Presley’s gospel music and a special about Johnny Cash. The King and Cash, aside, it’s mostly been trash.

Now for my gripe about public radio. In the past so many years, public radio has been pretty good about syndicating more shows throughout the country and beefing up its news and reporting. Kudos. I have to say, though, don’t stop. Now, I love classical music just as much as the next geek, but I really have to insist on some more talk radio. NPR has some of the best produced series, including, “This American Life,” “Car Talk,” and “What do you know?” All good programs, all well produced and all on my ‘must listen’ list. Oh and I forgot, Garrison Keillor. He is good all around. It seems like NPR got to a point and just stopped. Now, I’m not forgetting “Thacker Mountain” which just recently got syndicated, but I am ready for some new shows. Come on NPR, Mississippi Public Broadcasting and the rest of the states out there! How about a good objective show about technology (and I don’t mean just another segment on “Fresh Air?” Or what about a show strictly devoted to contemporary and older literature?

I think I might need to put a finer point on my arguments to public radio. Just as a small example, take a look at Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Now these are some hard workin’ folks. Let me tell you. With a tiny, tiny group of people and little smattering of money, Mississippi Public Broadcasting continues to function. I am amazed. Over the last 20 years, these hard working people have managed to keep MPB afloat. “Mississippi Roads?” Fine program. “Mississippi Outdoors?” Good program. “Rural Voices Radio?” Ok, that sucks. For all my praise of MPB, “Rural Voices Radio” never ceases to come off hackney. Ever hear a great Mississippi author on it reading a story or anecdote? Hell no. It’s always a 9 year old kid talking about his grandmother’s biscuits. Yes, I love biscuits. Yes, I love my grandmother and her biscuits too. We are from Mississippi, it’s what we do. I don’t need to hear a book report about it. Look, I’m not downing on the kid. I’m sure he worked hard to write his essay and it took him like 13 weeks to eek out the 500 words. I just figure Mississippi Public Broadcasting should be a little more high minded. Faulkner is from here, for Christ’s sake! Let’s try to act like we have a little class? Ok, ok. I’m a harsh guy. Fuck off. My point is this: MPB needs more funding, it needs more shows, it needs better writing and Walt Grayson should not be the only person holding it up. Now, you really have to be a MPB geek to know who Walt Grayson is.

The end of the story is I do love Public Broadcasting in all its forms. I just wish that fat old white ladies would quit pretending they have their finger on the pulse of what the 21-35 demographic wants. For all the fat white women working at Public Broadcasting, here is a public service for you: We want intelligent shows about topics that concern 21-35 year olds. We want quality, we want integrity. We don’t want one-sidedness, we don’t want “Down Home Jill Connor Browne Garbage.” Treat us with the respect that the intelligent class deserves. So put down the candy, you know you don’t need any, walk outside your office, yea that’s it. Past your high school equivalent degree. Keep going. Now past your secretary who probably has three times your education and half your age. Now move your fat ass down to the legislature and beg for some more money. Fund MPB and I don’t mean offer more tote bags for more donations. Bitch.

Raging Bull




Oh yea, that whole "test thing" didn't go so hot. Bless you alcohol. So the kid is down. But he ain't out. Round two.

That Movie Guy




Small gripe today. Who is that son of a bitch who does all the trailer movie voice-overs? Jeez. I despise that person with all my being. Speaking of trailers, I’m exhausted with them. I have a suspicion that the accountants and marketing directors have taken control of the movie industry. Oh, Expatriate, you may say, you are so na├»ve! That has been happening for years! Well of course it is, it just seems more pronounced today. I’m tired of flipping on the television, seeing a trailer and then having expectations of what the movie should be. Example: Cloverfield. The marketing campaign was much better than the actual movie. Jesus. Everyone was all freaked out. “What’s this movie about? Is it a monster? Is the monster some H.P. Lovecraft creature? Is it a giant walking Filet Mignon?” Then I saw the damn thing, almost got sick do to the “documentary cam” and left feeling so happy that the monster had destroyed New York, laid waste to some jack-asses, and praying that I would find the 8 dollars I spent watching the damn thing. The trailer was good, the movie sucked. Hard.

Back to the movie voice-over guy. How does he warp his voice into that trance-like baritone? Is he trying to subliminally implant suggestions about what the movie is supposed to be? Perhaps. I am keeping an eye out for you, voice-over guy. Or maybe I should say an ear. Keep your cult trance-talk to yourself!

I have to say, though, the last good trailer I have seen was for “There Will Be Blood.” No voice-over guy, basic scenes, slight dialogue from the lead character. The preview was exactly like the movie would be. That’s what we need. Subtly.

Lest we not forget, children, what the Bard said:

“Brevity is the soul of wit.”

Take note, Hollywood fucks.