"(678): Words of Wisdom: ordering a pitcher of whiskey cokes, putting a straw in it, and calling it your drink is not socially acceptable"
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Overheard Everywhere | From Stephen King's The Passion Of Christine:
"Little girl: Where is Jesus?
Bored babysitter: Umm, I don't know... In your heart?
Little girl: Well, then guess what?
Bored babysitter: What?
Little girl: I'm going to punch him! (starts punching herself in the heart)
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The triumph of common-sense: "You Do Not Ask The Police How To Run Society, and expect it to Make People Happy" - [Or, Simon Spurrier is a Genius.]
"...The real kicker arrived only recently. It came in the shape of a series of posters – THIS ONE and THIS ONE, in fact – which illustrated, in 12-foot-high horror, something which had been on the tips of our psyches for all too long. London has become a place where The Security To Remain Alive threatens to outweigh The Point Of Being Alive.
...Politicians make a big fuss these days about including the police in their consultations on security. Let me be nice and clear about this: If you ask a Removal Man to legislate on how Normal People live their lives, all heavy furniture would be illegal and we’d all live on the ground floor. Right? If you ask a postman for advice on National Regulations all letterboxes would be within easy reach of the kerb, all envelopes would be transparent (with special flashing LEDs on letters containing money), and all dogs over the size of a gerbil would be culled.
People want their jobs to be easier. Yes?
You Do Not Ask The Police How To Run Society, and expect it to Make People Happy. IT’S OBVIOUS, PEOPLE.
Look: the cops exist because we, the people, want them there. We have collectively agreed that we want to live in an ordered society, in which we can all get along without fear or persecution, and we have agreed that the price for doing so is to empower certain people with the right to prevent injustice and repress Fear.
"Repress" yes? They aren’t supposed to make me afraid. They aren’t supposed to make my palms go sweaty every time I pass one in the street. They aren’t supposed to send me into a crazed fit of “should I make eye contact, oh god I made eye contact, oh god now I look suspicious, oh fuck I looked away now he KNOWS I’ve got something to hide oh god oh god oh god” every time I go through the barriers on the tube. (Even though, honestly, really, truly: I have nothing to hide.)
...we’ve all had a run-in with some dickwit in a blue uniform, who honestly and truly believes that his shiny little badge not only permits him to a sense of entitlement the size of Nicaragua, but Actually Truly Honestly makes him More Important Than You.
They don’t just arrest you, they make bad jokes about it.
This is not the attitude I want in someone who has the right to hit me with a stick. This is not the attitude I want from an institution which can shoot me seven times in the head because my skin’s the wrong colour and I Might Maybe Possibly Oops No Not At All be a terrorist. And this is definitely not the attitude I want from the city which, most of the time, I love..."
387 - Shoulder Press/Lateral Raise, BW Rows/DB Rows, Pushups/Flyes, Dips/Overhead BW XT, Alt DB Curls/Hammer Curls, 2x10 dislocates/pull aparts
20m HIIT Interval kicboxing/mma work
388 - 20m HIIT Interval kickboxing/mma
3x10 dislocates/pull aparts/facepulls
The Daily Show [Jason Jones in Iran was exceptional TV, imho]
The Colbert Report
True Blood - back for the second season, good stuff.
Burn Notice - more season premiere goodness. Just a well crafted and acted show. Bruce Campbell is awesome, as per usual.
Fights - TUF, Strikeforce Challengers, The Ultimate Fighter Finale, UFC 100, Ultimate Chaos and a couple fights from K-1 Max World Final 8 tourney. Straight up boxing I rewatched the old Marvin Hagler V John Mugabi, and Hagler V Leonard fights. I still remember wanting Hagler to destroy Leonard, and in rewatching the fight it's just amazing how well Sugar Ray fought and kept Hagler from fighting his fight. Astounding boxing.
Joe Rogan - Talking Monkeys in Space Spike TV Comedy Special. Hilarious.
Better Off Ted - consistently one of the quirkiest shows I watch. In a really good way.
The Philanthropist - new show that I checked out on a lark and didn't have a lot of hope for, but it surprised the hell out of me. I really dug it. Must be my white liberal guilt.
The Closer - I watch this mainly cause the Mrs enjoyed it... and too often I find the characters a little grating and the plots overly predictable. But the third ep of season, co-starring Mary Mcdonnell from BSG as an IAD investigator kicked all kinds of ass.
Iron Chef America Octopus Battle.
Watched two documentaries on raw foods, as cleaning up my diet is an ongoing process. And while I doubt I'll ever go vegetarian again, incorporating more fresh fruits and veg are always a good thing. Watched Simply Raw and Raw for Life. Both interesting and well done. Particularly the aspects of controlling diabetes through nutrition. But I recoil from the way in which food kind of becomes a religion for some the folks, and those who are shown, by their own experience, how dietary changed can have positive effect on their lives, but refuse to follow through - I have little to no patience for those whiny bastards.
Hung - new show on HBO with Thomas Jane. High school basketball basketball coach going through divorce and a midlife crisis turns to male prostitution. Wry and funny. May give Breaking Bad a run for its money in dysfunctional ways to reinvent yourself.
Eureka - is back! I dig this show. Not the world's finest TV show, by any stretch, but it's FUN. Which is all too often lacking in TV. Witty, genial, interesting, well casted and well crafted.
Probably the best thing I've watched this past month has been Torchwood: Children of the Earth. Despite my geek cred, Doctor Who has never really been on my radar. Never actually watched it, to be honest. Knew OF it, of course. Cult status, UK, longest running, etc, etc. And I'm a huge fan of a lot of UK writers for whom it's a cultural touchstone. And even though the revival featured showrunners and writers whose work I enjoyed [Russell T Davies and Steven Moffatt, Queer As Folk and Coupling - respectively] I still hadn't watched any of it. What with all the history, I felt as if I'd always be behind the curve and there was no good jumping on point.
But Torchwood: Children of the Earth has been getting some rave reviews on a bunch of the geek TV sites I frequent, and given that Series 3 is only 5 eps, I figured I'd give it a swing.
It. Was. Awesome. The characters and the actors are extremely well drawn and gifted talent. The High Concepts were novel and unusual. I particularly enjoyed the sickening twist that - SPOILERS ON - the aliens wanted to abduct the kids not due to a survival of the species issue, which would be the standard trope, but because they USED THEM TO GET HIGH WITH. Brilliantly freaking evil, that was, and made the government's willingness to cooperate that much more appalling.
The government 'banality of evil' caught the attention of a lot of reviewers, the way the bureaucrats and politicians calmly and efficiently went about divvying up the youth of the nation to sacrifice, using the soft language of "units" to depersonalize and mitigate the horror of their actions.
I particularly liked the completely unflattering portrayal of how the echelons of government operate, despite the hand wringing and occasional pangs of conscience. Thoroughly appealed to my more cynical side. And having studied the Wannsee Conference in college, and having rewatched the 2001 dramatization Conspiracy earlier this year, it reinforced that the only way to do real evil is to make it policy.
Group dynamics are such that political, religious and corporate organizations are specifically designed to salve your soul as you commit the most horrible actions. BY DESIGN. You sacrifice for the higher good of the state, for your god, for your company - and that excuses EVERYTHING.
But besides the acting, production, plot and writing, I really dug on how it took all the standard cliches and tropes of scifi and fiction and basically just kicked their teeth in. Can't run away from your problems? You can on Torchwood. Heroes win by doing the right thing? No, the "heroes" "win" by doing shit just as evil as the bad guys. The villains attack you for no good reason other than their own evil nature? Nope, on Torchwood the villians come to play because you did evil shit with them decades ago. And on and on.
And also the lead is a dashing, swashbuckling bisexual. Which just cracks me up. And reminds me how limited and ridiculous the TV in my own home country can be. Definitely gonna be checking out more Torchwood and Dr Who after this. Two thumbs way, way up.
Speaking of cliched scifi, I also watched Star Trek: Voyager Seasons 1-3. This the only ST series I haven't really seen a lot of of. TNG, DS9 I've probably seen all the episodes of. TOS I've seen, like a lot of folks, a bunch of, and the rest I've culturally assimilated. Watched Enterprise off and on [the beginning and end far, far better than the middle.] Seen all the ST movies, including the newest kickass reboot. I enjoy Star Trek, as a series, as a genre. Never got into Voyager. The handful of eps I'd caught struck me as flat and not really engaging. But I figured I'd watch from the top and see if I dig it.
The best that can be said for the show, at least through Season 3, is that it's painfully uneven. There are some good episodes in there - Eye of the Needle, Heroes and Demons, The 37's, Projections, Meld, Basics, Flashback[Sulu!], Future's End [worth it alone for Sarah Silverman and Ed Begley, Jr], Warlord, and Real Life. A couple of the standard Star Trek heavy-handed metaphorical episodes were in there as well, though I'll admit to liking Distant Origin and great deal better than Jetrel.
There ARE some excellent character beats and some good acting. And the concept of the show, stranded in remote space, desperate to get home, forced to unite with your enemy for one common purpose - that's a genius high concept.
The thing is, that's a great concept that they do nothing with. It should feel like a desperate, mad race to get home, by any means necessary. Instead it devolves into a plodding, meaningless, kind of pointless farce. Typical alien of the week, "trade missions" - [you will never see this race or this quadrant again - you don't need a damn trade conference!], "Oh, we've happened upon this anomaly! Let's check it out" nonsense.
Instead it's the business as usual, uptight, middle class, Federation bullshit. Where the Prime Directive matters above all else, except when it doesn't. Where the captain and crew will blow a perfect opportunity to get home in order to fight the evils of... wait for it... capitalism! Bending and twisting the Prime Directive at will, except when it would help them get home. [False Profits, the Ferengi episode - which stuck me as misplaced, heavy handed and kind of dumb. Despite great performances by the Ferengi.]
Tuvok is a great character. As is the Doctor. Lots of cool issues and stories about identity, control and reality there.
But the show, overall... kind of pointless. All the other series had something. TOS was, well, the groundbreaker. The innovator. TNG shows the Federation in literally, a new generation. The scope of the future increases, a great new cast of characters, lots of good ideas. DS9 brings politics, war and religion into the mix like never before, season spanning arcs, depth... Enterprise tried to go back and show how it all began, with varying degrees of success. Voyager is supposed to be about... people trying to get home?... but it's not. It's kind of dull. And Kate Mulgrew is a fine actress, but I can't shake the feeling of having Katherine Hepburn on the bridge. And not in a good way.
Though I have to say the Janeway centered Sacred Ground ep was pretty interesting in that it got - spot on - secret society initiation rituals. It was like reading the Historical Illuminatus again. I'll keep checking out the series, because the actors are pretty good, even though the material is lacking. Plus, the Borg just showed up.
Lt. Reginald 'Reg' Barclay III: Lewis, how would you rather think of yourself? As a real person, with a real life, with a family that loves you? Or some...hologram, that exists in a sickbay, on a starship, lost in deep space?
Commander Chakotay: It doesn't matter what you're made of. What matters is who you are. You're our friend; and we want you back.
Lieutenant Tuvok: The Vulcan heart was forged out of barbarism and violence. We learned to control it; but it is still part of us. To pretend that it does not exist is to create an opportunity for it to escape.
Kes: To be honest, I never want to see that part of myself again.
Lieutenant Tuvok: To which part are you referring?
Kes: To the part of me that got pleasure from destroying those plants in the airponics bay. To the part of me that was tempted to go with Tanis. I never realized I had such dark impulses.
Lieutenant Tuvok: Without the darkness, how would we recognize the light? Do not fear your negative thoughts. They are part of you. They are part of every living being - even Vulcans.
Of this batch I probably enjoyed Early Autumn the most, mostly because in it Spenser mentors a young man who, well, really, never learned how to be a man. Kind of an inspiring if somewhat idealized story showing how you raise a person to adulthood, and kind of how I imagine how everyone wants to be brought up. Good story.
I kind of enjoy the fact, as well, that the books are both works of their time periods - the 1970s, so far - and kind of universal. I'm not quite sure how he's pulling that off, or how the books will evolve as far as that goes. Popular series tend to stop being grounded in those kinds of details as they get longer in and deal with their own longevity.
And there's a plethora of excellent pull quotes. Words to live by.
"Too much positive is either scared or stupid or both. Reality is uncertain. Lot of people need certainty. They look around for the way it's supposed to be. They get a television comercial view of the world... They spend their lives trying to e what they're supposed to be and being scared they aren't. Quiet desperation."
"A way of living better is to make the decisons you need to make based on what you can control. When you can."
"Systems. The system gets in the the way. You end up serving [the system, instead of helping people...]" - making the case for autonomy
"'...you're a white male, you can't understand a minority situation. It's not your fault.'
Extend that logic, and we eventually have to decide that no one can understand anyone. Maybe the matter of understanding has been overrated. Maybe I don't have to understand your situation to sympathize with it, to help you alter it, to be on your side...
Maybe civilization is possible, if at all, only because people can care about conditions they haven't experienced. Maybe you need understanding like a fish needs a bicycle."
"I do the best I can to approve and disapprove only of my own behavior. I don't always succeed, but I try."
"I am a long way past the point where I see the world in terms of debating points. I don't care if I win or lose arguments."
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Hit & Run ; Mother Jones on the Drug War: Totally Wasted! - Reason Magazine:
"...we've been stuck in a cycle of prohibition, failure, and counterfactual claims of success. (To wit: Since 1998, the ONDCP has spent $1.4 billion on youth anti-pot ads. It also spent $43 million to study their effectiveness. When the study found that kids who've seen the ads are more likely to smoke pot, the ONDCP buried the evidence, choosing to spend hundreds of millions more on the counterproductive ads.)...
What would a fact-based drug policy look like? It would put considerably more money into treatment, the method proven to best reduce use. It would likely leave in place the prohibition on "hard" drugs, but make enforcement fair (no more traffickers rolling on hapless girlfriends to cut a deal. No more Tulias). And it would likely decriminalize but tightly regulate marijuana, which study after study shows is less dangerous or addictive than cigarettes or alcohol, has undeniable medicinal properties, and isn't a gateway drug to anything harder than Doritos....
So why don't we have a rational drug policy? Simple. Forget the Social Security "third rail." The quickest way to get yourself sidelined in serious policy discussion is to stray from drug war orthodoxy.
The drug war is one of those things that is such a thoroughgoing disaster, a set of policies that harms everything it touches (medicine, education, foreign policy, you name it), that it remains mind-boggling to the point of despair..."
"A joint TSA/Delta airlines sting caught a TSA officer and a JFK baggage handler ripping off a laptop and phone from a decoy suitcase and then switching the suitcase tags, deliberately misrouting it to delay any investigation. Wanna bet they're not the only ones, and that this wasn't the first time they did it? Gee, thanks for taking away our suitcase locks, TSA. We're so much safer now that you're free to rob us."
""Drinking a vodka cranberry that's making love in my brain with the pot cookie I ate an hour ago. Dance you monkey" -Joe Rogan, was so high he stole some girl's drink.
"Just saw a cool looking dude rocking the fanny pack at starbucks. We exchanged thumbs up. I was gonna hug him, but I panicked"- Joe Rogan
"With a group of friends at the Orleans in Vegas watching chicks beat the shit out each other in an all womans MMA promotion... Its called tuff n uff. Its odd watching chicks hammer each other in the face.... I respect their desire to compete, and I appreciate them as athletes, but there's still a part of me that thinks they just need a hug... That's the part of me I call my hypocritical sexist douche side." - Joe Rogan, Gina Carano does not approve of this message."
"Today the Justice Department agreed to stop trying to justify the imprisonment of Guantanamo detainee Mohammed Jawad, an Afghan who may have been as young as 12 when he was arrested in 2002 and accused of tossing a hand grenade into an American Jeep, by citing statements obtained from him through death threats, physical abuse, and sleep deprivation.
...Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, who was assigned to prosecute Jawad, resigned from the case because of ethical concerns and supports the detainee's bid for freedom, saying, "It is my opinion, based on my extensive knowledge of the case, that there is no credible evidence or legal basis to justify Mr. Jawad's detention.""
Truer words never spoken - "Look at your life and ask why you're holding on to things that don't make your life better... - Tony Horton"
"...Even simple things like the clutter of paper and old useless junk in drawers, closets and on shelves. It's hard to abandon safe, old, familiar objects, philosophies and people in our lives. This would require letting go of the things that make up who you are; even if who you are isn't who you want to be. Most of us are two people at once. The person living in this moment and the person planning, rehearsing and preparing for the future. The person that was, is dead. No need for discussion about that person here. You have right now and the days, weeks, months and years (if you're lucky) in front of you.
...the majority of those people can't let go of the people and belief systems that keep them right where they are..."
Hit & Run; No More "Orange You Glad" Terrorism Policy Puns - Reason Magazine:
"Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano... is reportedly considering scrapping the post-9/11 color-coded warning system. For nearly eight years, it has kept the politically useful fear of terrorism at the front of our minds by informing us all whether the terrorist threat was a high tangerine, or merely an elevated school bus."
Dr Atkins basic work and original book was spot-on. Critics decry it as the "bacon&butter" diet, but honestly, even when I read it years and years ago, I totally remember the veggies and fruits in it. [Though it did warn against the high sugar fruits too often.] Atkins/low carb was really one of the early Paleo/Primal diets imho. At least one of the first I was exposed to.
And years later, if you take the time to keep following up, the fundamentals remain true - carbohydrates drive insulin drive fat storage. Period.
Ultimately, what you should eat is real food. Real meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds [real dairy, too.] The further you get away from that, the more "processed" your diet, the worse it's going to be for you.
[And hat tip to probably the best book on healthy eating and lifestyle I've read of late - Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint.]
Though I'll admit that at those times when I'm craving a processed candy bar-like substance or shake, Atkins, or other low carb processed junk food does fill that emotional/nostalgic/taste bud void, usually with slightly less detrimental effect than the full sugar bomb version. You just have to know what you're doing. If you're compromising, be aware of the compromise.
Free the Animal: Atkins: Lost Souls:
"The Atkins organization ("Nutritionals," et al) is, I believe, doing a tremendous disservice to the great work done by its pioneer, Dr. Robert Atkins.
Frankly: that company sells virtually nothing but processed crap. Bars & shakes loaded with soy, artificial sweeteners, unpronounceable, mystery ingredients, and other Bad Stuff®....Here's the ingredients for the baking mix: "Wheat Gluten, Whole Grain Soy Flour, Modified Wheat Starch, Unprocessed Wheat Bran. CONTAINS WHEAT AND SOY." And the penne pasta: "Enriched Semolina (Semolina, Niacin, Iron (Ferrous Sulfate), Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2, Folic Acid), Modified Wheat Starch, Wheat Gluten, Wheat Protein Isloate. CONTAINS WHEAT." Real Food, and not wheat, soy, and a laundry list of artificial flavors, preservatives and who knows what all else. By focussing on method and not principle, you'll never fix the one thing that will keep most of you failing or miserable: hunger. There is no more sure, effective way to reset your hunger drive than with a natural diet. Atkins is doing its best to keep you on a modern diet, just one a bit lower in carbohydrate."
Myth of the Rational Market: the rise and fall of the idea of market rationality - Boing Boing:
"Justin Fox's The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street is a book that chases down a provocative debate that the author discovered while working for Fortune magazine: the idea that the market is driven by fear, psychological quirks, fads, and other "irrational" factors, and as such, it does not represent a set of prices derived from the decisions of millions of actors, but rather a set of nearly impossible to predict fluctuations that are about as useful as a series of coin-tosses. "
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
texts from last night:
"Remember that text you shouldn't have sent last night? We do.
[Excerpts from the "best nights"]
(843): Grinding on my ninth grade teacher. Dreams really do come true
(703): Just woke up wearing a top hat and simpsons boxers. i also found more money in my wallet then what i had before going out, about $1000 more
(312): I remember going home with 2 girls. Woke up with 4.
(919): so I was just driving high and I stopped to let a pinecone cross the road because I thought it was a hedgehog.
(909): I thought it was weird that her dad told me to finish and get out after he walked in on us. I like him
(843): the red head has a bf
(1-843): just because there's a goalie doesn't mean u can't score
(215): i got kicked out of Barns and Nobles cuz i put all the bibles in the fiction section
(775): before smithy murders me i need you to know 3 things. 1) i got with smithy's little sister last night. 2) i will always love you like my own brother. 3) smithy's little sis digs anal.
(410): can you sing with all the voices of the mountain? can you paint with al the colors of the windddd
(410): im pocohantasssss
(512): i just sat at a stop sign for 10 minutes waiting for it to turn green. i need to STOP SMOKING THIS SHIT.
(910): wow wtf my bar tab was 80 dollars
(910): IT WAS DOLLAR BEER NIGHT
(303): I have to decide between the hot young blond with no apparent gag reflex, and the brunette with a great ass and a trust fund.
(720): o shit let me call u back theres a hamburger in my pocket
(971): I have two black x marks on my hands.
(503): Yep you got cut off last night after a stripper bent over in front of you and you screamed very loudly 'I can see your soul from here'
(971): damnit I wish I could remember that.
(617): i would really appreciate it if you would stop texting my girlfriend.
(508): i would really appreciate it if you would stop cock blocking me.
(724): also, i may or may not be wearing a cape right now. hint: i am.
(347): I knew you were gonna be a good wingman when the words "dibs on the chunky one" came out of your mouth.
(847): i blew a .213 what kind of thug blows the compton area code exactly? this guy
(202): therell be strippers and coke right?
(703): no strippers. just coke.
(202): i hate this fuckin recession
(315): he saw my "i like bacon" magnet on the fridge and i told him how much i love meat, then we started making out
(607): what a beautiful fairy tale
(303): Dude, I would hit that so hard that whoever could pull me out would become the king of England
(321): Ask Niel how long his lasts if he plays with it a lot.
(1-321): he says 15-20 minutes depending on the porn.
(321): no his phone, idiot.
(847): So I used to make fun of texas a lot, then I got here and I found a place where I could get my tequila in a to go cup with a straw and I realized that this is the only place I ever want to be
(226): forecast for tonight is alcohol, low standards and poor decisions.
(703): fucking a dude
(703): i mean: fucking a, dude
(703): wow, that comma made all the difference there
[and from the worst nights]
(310): ohhhh fuckk. chicks a dude.
(404): Can I crash on your couch? I just came home to find my wife giving two guys blowjobs.
(902): and then I told her I was too drunk. She started to cry, and told me this always happens to her and that she thinks shes ugly. I pretended I was asleep and then she farted.
(216): Where the fuck is Rob at, he hasnt answered his phone in like 2 weeks.
(440): Dude Rob died 2 weeks ago wtf?
(216): Holy shit r u serious? How?
(440): Just kidding, but im pretty sure he boned your gf and doesnt want to talk to you.
(603): not only are you not the girl i fell in love with, but from the looks of it, you ate her
(443): So called my VP's house on Sunday drunk and told him that if he didn't hire me for the new position I would skull fuck his wife. They asked me to go home today. Thanks again Vodka
(612): I found a pair of size 15 female undies on my floor?? is that big?
(360): two pink lines on a pregnancy test is bad, isn't it?
(206): only if you didn't want to fuck up your life.
(925): Should I have kids to fix a relationship??
(775): Not good, Ive never been this late. We need to talk.
(504): Error 1684C: You're last text was undeeliverable. Subscriber is our to the aera. "
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Swearing mitigates pain - Boing Boing:
"Some experimental evidence to suggest that swearing makes pain less traumatic...:...When swearing, the 67 student volunteers reported less pain and on average endured about 40 seconds longer.Why the #$%! Do We Swear? For Pain Relief (via /.) "
Although cursing is notoriously decried in the public debate, researchers are now beginning to question the idea that the phenomenon is all bad. "Swearing is such a common response to pain that there has to be an underlying reason why we do it," says psychologist Richard Stephens of Keele University in England, who led the study. And indeed, the findings point to one possible benefit: "I would advise people, if they hurt themselves, to swear," he adds.
Fred On Everything:
"...So forty or so years after all the love-ins, the marches, the righteous dope (all of which may seem silly, but in my view preferable to watching a Cambodian mother screaming over the opened bleeding guts of her child) the Pentagon is at it again. Once more the jets howl over remote primitive countries, countries that did nothing to the US and couldn’t have, and promotions flow, and contracts, and generals demand more troops and more money to stop communism. Excuse me, terrorism. Soon, the Chinese, a better threat, coming to a theater near you. With the passing of years, one demon fades into another. Switching enemies is much easier now, what with search-and-replace.
But it’s all about democracy and freedom and patriotism and Saving America from…from something. The hoopla changes little, and how well it works. Patriotic friends sometimes say to me of the military ardent things like, “When your country says go, you go!” I seldom point out that no one in their families is in the slightest danger of having to go, nor that “the country” is recruiting hard and they aren’t urging their children to enlist; nor do I ask, “What is your attitude toward having your daughter drafted onto the streets of Baghdad for five tours, perhaps coming back drooling and gurbling for life after having her brains scrambled by a roadside bomb?” Patriotism is important to patriots. They are full of it, and I’m about a quart low. I shut up. I don’t want to lose friends.
Yet…I think I must be a communist. It seems to me that when your country says “go,” you should ask, “Why?” Do you have a reason to kill whoever you are being sent to kill? Then go. Otherwise, don’t. If I told you to go to Ottawa and kill Canadians, you would think me mad, and think it correctly. Why then should you obediently kill them because a politician in Washington tells you to do it? I do not understand.
And of course “your country” doesn’t tell you anything at all. Countries are abstractions. Men tell you to go, and for their own purposes: Dick Cheney or George Bush, Nixon or Nitze, or the men who run the petroleum industry, or people in the Israeli lobby, or men in the military companies who want contracts, or officers who want to give war a try..."
Of course, the only obstacle to my attending was the enkai from the previous night and the resulting, umm... lethargy... brought about by consumption of alcohol. [Okay, I was hungover. Shut up.]
Anyways, I got there about an hour after it started, but I still got to watch the kids for about 4 hours. And I got to watch both the boy's and girl's teams take top honors for the tourney. It was brilliant, honestly.
The boys team...
[Sandy, this is Tominaga-sensei's nephew on the left...]
I liked this picture...
Prepping the throw...
...and one second later. Ippon! [It was pretty.]
The girls team preps for competition...
I noticed during the day that Tsuyazaki's team was particularly effective with their pinning techniques. Sign of some good old school Judo, right there.
The young lady on the right is easily one of my favorite kids. Judo team captain - and really quite good - superb English student, and just one of the nicest girls imaginable.
Here she is demolishing one of her opponents in something like 5 seconds [I was a second or two late with the camera...]
One of my Katsuura kids...
The boys and girls team captains being awarded the tourney championship certificate. [My kids are awesome.]
My supervisor is awesome. Two years ago he really struggled w/English, and now he's sending out invites like this...
First enkai we've had at Matabe. The food was awesome. Fried sweet potatoes with butter - delicious.
Plus the standard sushi...
Chili ebi... and a bunch of other dishes I didn't snap pictures of, all delicious.
Some of the fellas of the BOE.
Noboby drinks like older Japanese guys...
Japan can be a little wacky. You can try to figure it out.
The Nijikai. It always seems like a good idea. It never fails to be great fun that I pay for the next day.
But I do dig on always seeing the Judo team. Plus, careful listening and tentative Japanese understanding, led me to discover that the Judo Munakata Area tournament was the next day, at our school. So I totally got to plan on going...
384 - Shoulder Press/Lateral Raise, Bodyweight Row/Assted Chins, Pushups/Flyes, Dips/Kickbacks, Curls/Hammer Curls, Dislocates 2x10
20m HIIT [interval] MMA/Kickboxing