September 30, 2004

I am stubborn...

...that's why I'm still searching for a perfect photo that won't destroy my frickin' computer...

But, I wrote a poem today... Yay!

I humbly present my crappy style of poetry with:

"A Wanton Ode to an Asian Beauty":

Being too distant for me to offer a pass
and with your faraway face as long-frozen as glass
and with your twilight visage under a rising sun
you're the beauty that I want to have already won.
I want to touch you and to love you and know
such a bone-chilling heart-warming falling of snow.

So much like the cherry blossoms scattered on your floor,
that came from beyond the mere rice paper door,
you're so meekly framed while you're hiding behind
the sartorial grace of a Warrior's bride
as your midnightly locks drape you softly and low
surrendering as gently as the falling of snow.

There's a whole nether world that lives in your eyes -
- two prisms splitting darkness away from the lies.
I could wonder if I'll ever discover, in time,
how your lips might feel if they'd ever meet mine.
But, alas, I might as well let my heart down and go
and start listening for the sound of the falling of snow.

Bah. Still looking for a photo...

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:46 PM | Comments (8)


Last time I had to reformat I was off-line for 5 weeks. This time I'm back among ye in 2 hours. There's no substitute for experience.

As I've been consumed with nothing but getting back on line, I've prepared nothing to post, so irregular and uneven posting shall hafta wait 'til tomorrow.


Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:05 AM | Comments (3)

September 29, 2004


Long story short: Norton failed me and I got a virus while searching for a decent photo of an asian goddess to post. Norton couldn't remove the virus, so I had to quarantine the file and reboot.

Now I can't even load my desktop -- all I get is my wallpaper, not even the Start button. Shoot. Looks like I gotta reformat again. :(
Word to the wise: Porn sites are pure evil!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:13 PM | Comments (3)

September 27, 2004

More Crap Again Already?!

Crap. Everything was going so smoothly since I reformatted my hard drive a few months ago. Now this.

I log on and open my IE -- and the top and bottom features are missing! When I move my mouse to the bottom of the screen, the Start/page taskbar appears. But, when I try to access the toppermost options, I can only get the Back/Forward/Stop/Refresh/etc line. I can't type in a URL.

So I spent the past hour and a half installing and exploring in Mozilla. It seems to work fine but for one thing: the graphics suck. The photos display in a rediculously low resolution and so they look all pasty.


I've done an Adaware scan and a Spywareguide scan. Adaware found 33 items, and Spywareguide found nothing. I have Norton running continuously. WTF?!

The only thing I can think of that may have brought this on is that I went to a porn site to gather photos of Asian women in the hopes of posting a tribute to Asian beauty. (I haven't dared visited a porn site in years 'cause they tended to, y'know, turn my computer into crap.)

The sad thing is that I found -- in all my searching -- only one (1) .jpeg worth saving.
(Why in the world does nearly everything on porn sites have t'be so frickin' vulgar?! Yecch! I can be such a prude sometimes...)

Now I'm blogging through Juno's default browser (which is just an uncorrupted version of IE).

Crap!!! I don't want to have to reformat again!


Just in case anyone's interested, the only .jpeg I downloaded is in the extended entry. For this photo I have destroyed my browser.


It wasn't worth it, but aren't Asian women beautiful anyway?


I'd really prefer not to post a full-nude, but rather something a little more enchanting. But this was the best photo I could find in my wanton search for a classy pic.
Where, oh, where are the classy pics?!

Anywho, this is what I traded my pristine brower for:


Shame on me...?
I mean, she barely even looks Asian, eh? Cute bod, but from the neck up she kinda looks like a Jewish Michael Jackson....

Sorry guys. But, as someone once said; I've suffered for my music and now it's your turn.


Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:43 PM | Comments (2)

September 26, 2004


Can't blog.

Watching Brady Bunch marathon/reunion on TVLand.

Thank you for mentioning it, Stevie. I wouldn't have known of it otherwise!


Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:14 PM | Comments (2)

September 23, 2004

Exclusive: Heinz-Kerry Working for Rodham-Clinton?


BOSTON [A&P]-- Teresa Heinz-Kerry, wife of Presidential hopeful Senator John Kerry (D-Mass), has been deliberately sabotaging her husband's campaign it has been revealed in secret documents obtained from CBS News.

"There is a method to her madness," said Rebecca Jameson, special assistant to Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton (D-NY), responding to the outting of Heinz-Kerry's subterfuge. "She's been onboard with us from the git go."

Lacing her speech with words that seem to belie an "anti-social pathology", Heinz-Kerry is "deliberately undermining Senator Kerry's chances for election to the Presidency," the CBS documents reveal.

Telling reporters to "shove it," calling political opponents "scumbags" and "idiots" predicting that Osama Bin Ladin "may be 'found' in the days leading up to the November 2nd election", erstwhile Republican Heinz-Kerry is, in fact, attempting to "pull the rug out from under" Kerry's election effort in an effort to keep 2008 open for Senator Clinton.

"It's just insidious," piped Mary Mapes, producer of 60 Minutes Wednesday. "I saw these documents and immediately said 'You gotta be shittin' me!' But, clearly it's true."

Asked how she knew that it was "clearly...true", Mapes emotionally inquired "Am I the only one who still trusts my CBS's reporting??"

Responding via telephone, Heinz-Kerry has told A&P that she has "never not supported my husband, dillweed. If you think that I want Chimp-boy to give us another four years of hell then you're not paying attention, twerp.

"And I challenge Shrubette to a debate," she continued. "We oughta have a First Ladies' debate just so's I can expose the scum sucking librarian for what she is: the drawling shillwife of a doofus dork who can make cuter daughters than the Frankenspawn that my current husband made.

"You think I'm kidding, Punjab? Huh? Maybe she's got a well-heeled aura of dignity, but her President says he's trying to make the world safe for peace and Democracy and that lie is as un-American as my accent, assmunch?

Of course I want my husband to win.
No, really.



[Update: Wow, that was a pretty lame post, eh?--TS]

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2004

Sometimes I forget things...

...Like updating my billing information, or cancelling before the trial period is over.

Back in June, when I was off-line for 5 weeks, I was trying to figure out just where the problem was. Was it in Juno? Internet Explorer? My hard drive? I didn't know.
I installed AOL just to see if I could get on-line with it. If I could then that would narrow the problem to my Juno software. If not then Juno would be ruled out as the infected program.

The AOL disk gave me free service for X amount of weeks --about three months -- during which I would have to proactively cancel the service or else begin having to pay up for monthly service beginning in September.

I installed the AOL disk, fiddled with it a few times, had to put the disk back in again, tried to get on-line, couldn't. I uninstalled AOL.

So, I was able to rule out Juno as the infected software, but didn't bother to immediately phone AOL to cancel my account. Hey, I have three months t' do it and it must have been late in the evening by then.

Long story short: I reformmatted the hard drive and reinstalled Window98 and Juno.

I recieved a letter in the snail mail from AOL telling me that they'd been unable to process a payment for my account. HUH?! Oh, right, I set up an account in June and never cancelled it. Not to worry, though: The problem was that my debit card had expired in 08/04, and I hadn't yet activated the new card.
My options were to update my billing information or call Customer Service. I did neither 'cause I didn't have AOL on my computer and didn't want it.

I didn't contact AOL, but I did activate my new card after that.

Like I said; sometuimes I forget things. That's why I go to my bank and ask for a print-out of my checking account once or twice a week. I want to make sure that I didn't withdraw funds at an ATM and had forgotten to mark it down in my checkbook when I got home lest I suffer cascading overdraft fees. Gotta keep the thing balanced as it's been a tightrope walk recently.

I got a print-out yesterday morning and, surprisingly, I had a negative balance. Crap! Why?!
There were two debits posted the night before (Monday) for $47.80 each. WTF?!!!

I phoned the bank and talked to Myra. She identified the debitters as AOL.

CRAP!!! I never contacted AOL to cancel the account that I created back in June and they've gone ahead and tried again to get two monthly payments!!!

I called AOL. It took 45 $#@^&*% minutes of wading through the voice-activated phone web to get an actual live person on the line.

Apparently I was billed $47.80 ($95.60) for two different accounts I'd set up because I had re-inserted the disk to correct what I thought might have been a problem with missing files.
Long story short: Both accounts were closed, but I'd have to go through a reimbursement proceedure if I wanted my 95 bucks back.

I went back to my bank and Myra and Ellie both told me that the bank isn't allowed to cancel a POS Transaction. Shite! I muttered "I deserve to be shot" and left for work again.


But, while walking back to work, I thought of something.
I phoned AOL again.

Nevermind how long it took to get a live person on the line again. Once I had a guy on the line, and had explained the situation thus far, the conversation went a little like this:

Me: ...And I'm out $95.60. I need you to flag the accounts to return the funds as soon as they come in.

AOL: I see that two accounts were created at nearly the exact same time, that's not unusual. So I'm going to go ahead and settled that second one.

Me: But, I need both of them settled with a return.

AOL: Well, now, you know you never cancelled the account, sir...

Me: I didn't think I had to. The letter told me to either update my billing info or contact AOL. I did neither.

AOL: That doesn't mean we're not going to attempt another debit...

Me: Attempt another debit with what authorization?

AOL: The authorization you gave us.

Me: That expired in August. I never updated the billing information. What you have on record is a card that expured in 08/04, and the billing date was September 2nd. You billed an expired card. AOL has no authorixation from me beyond August 31st. Do you see what I'm saying? I didn't update the billing info and so ya billed me in September on a card that expired in August.....

AOL [pregnant pause] Yes, I see. Let me take care of that second one for you, Mr Jones...


I don't know for sure if the experation date in my AOL Billing Information entitled me to a reimbursement, but I believed it at the time... and maybe thus convinced the guy on the other end that it did.

Bottom line: My $95.60 is being returned!

I've missed my calling.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:02 PM | Comments (2)

September 21, 2004

The Dreaded Questionaire

I got a questionaire in email from RP. I haven't responded... though, I did pass it on. I received this response from Presidential candidate John F Kerry:

Welcome to Summer 2004 edition of getting to know your friends. What you are supposed to do is copy or forward this entire e-mail. Change all the answers so they apply to you and then send this to a bunch of friends, including the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot more about your friends.

1. What time do you get up? Crunch time.

2. If you could eat lunch with one living person who would it be?
Saddam Hussein. I'd like to threaten him and then appologize for it in person.

3. Gold or Silver? Silver, with a combat V. I also have a Bronze.

4. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein". Someone recommended it saying I might see alot of myself throughout it. I didn't notice anything particularly insightful, though.

5. What is/are your favorite TV Shows? Spin City, The West Wing, I Led Two Lives.

6. What did you eat for Breakfast? Rice paddy, omlette du framage, toast.

7. Who would you hate to be stuck in a room with? Ralph Nadar.

8. What is your middle name? Fitzgerald Forbes.

9. Beach, City, Country or Mountains? What... no Jungle? Beach for windsurfing, Mountains for skiing, City for voting, Country for shafting.

10. Favorite Ice Cream: Ketchup.

11. Butter, plain or salted popcorn? We don't have popcorn in Vietnam.

12. Favorite Color? Grey. .

13. What kind of car do you drive? An SUV... but I don't own it, the family does.

14. Favorite Sandwich? Philly Swiss CheeseSteak.

15. What characteristic do you despise? Singlemindedness. There are so many sides to every issue and we ought to be able to take every one.

16. Favorite flowers? The rose garden.

17. If you could go anywhere in the world for a vacation, where would you go? The Senate.

18. What color is your bathroom? Chameleon.

19. Favorite brand of clothing? Standard Issue. It's the only brand I've come to trust.

20. Where would you retire? To the White House living quarters.

21. Favorite day of the week? Moneyday.

22. What did you do for your last birthday? Talked about Vietnam. Told some half-truths. Changed my mind on a few things. We really don't make a big deal out of birthdays.

23. Where were you born? In the summer of my 27th year.

24. Favorite sport to watch on TV? Mudslinging wrestling.

25. Who do you least expect to send this back to you? Howard Dean.

26. Person you expect to send back first? Jack Chirac.

27. What fabric detergent do you use? *snort* *chuckle* BWAHAHAHAH!!!

28. Coke or Pepsi? Coke. Pepsi makes me sneeze. [Uncalled for, I know -- TS]

29. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Insufficient information given. Am I answering to a crowd in the morning or at night? M' god, how in the world can I tell you what I am before I know anything at all about ya?!

30. What is your favorite movie? "How To Marry A Millionaire".

31. What is your shoe size? I'll talk to my dentist and get back to ya.

32. Do you have any pets? Of course, not. They poop an' stuff. Though I do seem to remember kissing a hamster once. I'll ask the girls...

33. Who sent this to you? Some crooked, y'know, lying bastard named "Tuning Spork".

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:14 PM | Comments (3)

September 20, 2004

Me Be Bad blogger!

Sorry for the lack of posting. I've been busy writing entry-length Comments at others' blogs and have neglected my own these past few days.

I do have a nice post brewing, though, about lucid dreaming. I used to think I knew what lucid dreaming was... until last week.

But, right now, I think I'll just eat my chicken and then hit the hay.

And, dang, but Rather and Mapes think they're foolin' us, eh?!


Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:49 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2004

Pajamasphere™ logo

Fiddling around this evening I created this:

TIME1982 copy.JPG

Does it look familiar? Yeah...? Yep, you guessed it. 22 years ago TIME Magazine pronounced that the future would be written in binary code. It didn't happen quite as soon as they thought it would, but it did happen in the end.

Perhaps TIME's 2004 "XXX of the Year" could use this Photoshop image...?

Now I just have to figure out how to add text to it. Feel free to play with this and make it better! :)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:44 PM | Comments (1)

September 16, 2004

Notes From the Pajamasphere™

Okay, I don't have a real post here. I just wanted to say that you read the word Pajamasphere™ here first!

I want to create (or, better yet, inspire someone else to create) a logo for the Pajamasphere™.

I'm also looking for a good subscripted acronym. The best I have so far are: League of Pajama-Bloggers Outing Media Bias (LOPBOMB); Web-wide Enlightenment Bridgade of Bloggers Outing Media Bias and Effusing Reliable Sources (WEB BOMBERS); Pajama-clad Bloggers Outing Media Bias (PC BOMB); and Pajamas Readily Exposing Fraud and Bias (PRE-FAB).

I have even worse ones.

Anybody wanna give a logo a shot?!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:44 PM | Comments (3)

Johnny Ramone 1948-2004


Johnny Ramone (first on the left) has left us.
The band retired just a few years ago... and just in time to see them drop off in a mad dash to eternity. Joey died in '01, Dee Dee followed suit in '02, and now Johnny is gone. Tommy Ramone (seated between Johnny and Joey) is the only surviving original member.

C.J. Ramone, Dee Dee's replacement on bass guitar, survives. But it's interesting that the Ramones have turned one of the big jokes of the movie This Is Spinal Tap -- appropriately, I say -- on it's head.

The other surviving Ramones are all the drummers: Tommy, Marky and Ritchie and Marky again.

If C.J. goes next then I'll raise a glass to him, and then laugh my ass off because the Ramones are clearly the anti-arena rock band and they've proven it!

So long, Johnny. Ya did good, my friend.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:26 PM | Comments (6)

September 14, 2004

Just another ordeal... No big whoop...

So anyway...

Without going into boring details about why I'm being sued by a creditor (not a credit card company) over non-payment of a loan ($4,800) that I haven't made a payment on in over 2 years, I'm getting sued (for institution of a wage garnishment of 25% of my net) by a creditor (not a card card company) over non-payment of a loan (now balanced at over $9,300 due to lawyer/court/Marshall fees) that I haven't made a payment on in over 2 years.

The only explanation of why this is that I can give very briefly, is: Between the lesser amount of money that I make and the more I must to commit to paying my monthly commitments, let's just say that I have 'tween $800 and $1,000 less per month to play with. I used to eat filet mignon several times a week. Nowadays I sometimes have to search for an old box of macaroni and cheese that's been sitting in the back of the cabinet for two years just to get through to my next paycheck.

On August 11th my employer gave me photocopies of paperwork he'd been delivered by certified mail. It was an order to begin a wage garnishment of 25% of my "discretionary income". "Discretionary income" is defined as my pay after the various federal and state payroll taxes. I guess that one pays for their rent, heat and electricity bills at their discretion.

Anywho, the "Date of Service of Wage Execution on Employer" is dated 30 July '04. My boss took a week to finally get the package from the post office. That aside, there is a 20-day window in which I, the Debtor, may file an "Exemption and Modification Claim Form" on the wage execution. If I file within the 20-day window, the garnishment is nollified pending a scheduled hearing.

I filed the claim form on August 18th (I got it in a day before the deadline). My next paycheck -- and the first that I recieved after the 20-day deadline -- was on August 27th. My employer deducted 25% of the net ($158.64... [yeah, I'm open book here...]) because neither one of us at the time was sure if he was legally bound to do it or not.

On August 28th my employer received the paperwork for my scheduled hearing on 20 Sept 04. He stated that the "good thing" was that he'd never gotten around to mailing the check to the State Marshall's Office.
He wrote me a check for $158.64.

Last Friday was my next payday. My boss walked up slowly with my paycheck in his hand and said,
"Here's the deal. It turns out that I HAD mailed the check. I phoned the Marshall's Office and asked about having it sent back. They told me that they wouldn't return it because you didn't make it to court within 20-days of the service. So, I'm out 158 bucks. I'm deducting $50 from this paycheck just 'cause I know you can't do without the entire amount in one swell foop. We'll start with this and see how we can do the rest later."

Uh..... ooooookay. He handed me a check for $625.70. I will deposit this into my checking acount to cover my incoming rent check of $600. I will then annotate the approximately $11 maintanance/per-check-charges that will be assessed on the 14th. What remains, together with what I had left from my previous paycheck, leaves me with about $40 to live on for two weeks. $30 of that will be eaten up by bus fare so's I can get to work so's I can make more shitty money.

But wait a minute, methinks! The fact that there's a hearing scheduled for the 20th means that they can't collect anything yet! The more I tried to convince my employer that the Marshall's Office was wrong, the more he seemed to want to shrug his shoulders and say "well, what are ya gonna do...?"

So, I followed him as he retreated to the middle office of the shop and I grabbed the phone.
"Do you have the Marshall's number?" I asked.
"Yes, it's 1-203-%#$-&*#%"
"When did you speak to them... this morning?"
"No, it was sometime late last week or early this week"
"Who did you speak to?"
"Her name was 'Kim'"

I dialed the number and got an answering machine. I left a brief message: my name, why I was calling, the CN (docket) number of the case, and asked to be contacted as soon as possible. While it was reasonably early (about 3pm), apparently the office was closed for the weekend 'cause I never got a return call.

Monday morning I went into work and wrote a letter. I faxed it to the Marshall's Office along with copies of the application for Exemption and/or Modification Claim Form. I wrote:

At some point about a week ago, B---- G----, my employer, telephoned your office seeking the return of a check in the amount of $158.64 that he had mistakenly sent in regard to CN:K####.

Mr G---- spoke to Kim, who told him that the check would not be returned since I did not make an application for modification within the 20-day period from the date of Service of Wage Execution to Employer.

Kim was mistaken, as the attached documents plainly show.
Please note that the date of Service on "page 1" is 30 July '04, and my date of claim on "page 2" is 18 Aug '04.
Please also note that a hearing is scheduled for 20 Sept '04 @ 9:30 AM.

As per CT statutes -- and as plainly written near the bottom of "page 1": "No earnings subject to a claim for modification may be withheld from any employee until determination of the claim".

Please return check in the amount of $158.64 payable to B------ G------, ## Blahbiddy Road, Milford, CT 06460 ASAP.


[my signature]

Kim phoned me almost immediately. Within 5 minutes, I tells ya.

"I just fax'ed the material you sent me to the attorney. Just to let you know, it was the attorney that told me not to return the check."

ah HA! I was ready to give Kim the benefit of the doubt for being in the Marshall's Office and, maybe, not having all of the relevent paperwork. But, as it turns out, the refusal to reimburse my boss (me, really, since he was docking my pay to pay for "his" loss) was a directive from my creditor's lawyers. And they. Have. The Paperwork.

I thanked Kim, hung up the phone, and stewed in my own angry juices all day. These bastards are testing my competance, dammit. They're wondering if they can talk me/us into giving up on the 158 bucks. They had my boss hoodwinked and ready to surrender. He'd just pass the loss onto me.
But, they cannot escape the wrath of Tuning Spork and his trusty sword: His belief in the rule of Law, not the rule of Intimidation.

Monday afternoon came and went without word. Tuesday (today) I got into work and checked the fax machine's tray for any word from Kim. Nothin'.

All morning I paced. Working out in my mind just what my next steps would be if the attorney's (whose names you'd know by now - believe you me - if this didn't have a happy ending) had, again, refused to return the check. I waited. I checked the fax machine everytime it beeped.

Finally, around 1pm, I called the Marshall's Office. Kim answered. I told her who I was and that I was calling to get an update on my matter at hand.

"Oh, didn't B--- tell you? I called him early this morning. They're returning the money... it's in the mail... should be there in a few days. I'm surprised he didn't tell you..."

FUCK! Here I was, plotting to get the Connecticut Attorney General's Office crashing in on the Sh--ff Law Firm like a sledgehammer on an under-cooked egg and it's settled. Settled!
They sent. the check. back.

B----- wrote me a check for $50. All is well.

And I'm looking forward to the 20th. Not really. Nevermind, that'll be another post....

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:09 PM | Comments (2)

September 11, 2004

Just Some Photos and Stuff

Here are some jpgs that I found at

What's immediately striking about this one is that it's nearly exactly what Muhammed Atta saw as he steered the first airliner toward One World Trade Center.

Tower One is burning and, while everyone was either leaving, entering or staring awestruck, not many noticed that another plane was coming in over the harbor from the south.

The second plane finds it mark, ending all speculation about whether or not the first impact was an accident. Not even the terrorists could have saved the passengers and the people in Two World Trade Center at this point.


Nineteen summers ago I stood on the observation deck atop Tower Two. It was a smoggy day and the visibility was poor (we couldn't even see the Empire State Building), and I'd always wanted to return some day for a better view.

Visitors went to the World Trade Center to see the awesome view from the top. They'd talk on and on about it while pointing at the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and any other landmarks and neighborhoods they could recognize all the way down there.

Now visitors go there and, a thousand people at a time, file by along the viewing path in silence. They look over the pit and then look up at nothing and imagine the towers as clearly as they can because seeing them again, in the here and now, not in photographs, will keep them and the people that died in them real and present and not forgotten because keeping them in mind, and in our mind's eye, keeps us focused on what we're doing and why we do it.

Some people I've run across in the past week wonder why these anniversary observances are important. I've actually heard people at supermarket check-out counters say "9/11 again?! We just gotta get over it at some point, y'know... Let it go!"

I understand the impulse to shut it out - to want to return to the salad days when Americans could safely imagine that terrorism happened only to celluloid people in strange parts of a distant netherworld.

But 3,000 people died. And, with the families that were destroyed, the fatherless and/or motherless kids, the parents who lost their sons and daughters, the friends who lost their friends, the direct victims of the events 3 years ago today number in the high tens of thousands.
And when we consider that we know darn well that their losses could have been our own -- and, as Americans and/or free people, seem like they were our own -- we remember why we fight this war even more clearly.

That's why these anniversary observances are important. The day that we forget that morning will be the day that we return to the world of September 10th: Oblivious to the threat and unprepared for what tomorrow will bring.

Never again!

Never forget!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:07 PM | Comments (2)

September 10, 2004


While peace-loving muslims need not apologize for the barbarism of the Death Cult, my faith in humanity is, nonetheless, strengthened by the message HERE

Here's a taste:

Only moderate Muslims can challenge and defeat extremist Muslims. We can no longer afford to be silent. If we remain silent to the extremism within our community then we should not expect anyone to listen to us when we complain of stereotyping and discrimination by non-Muslims; we should not be surprised when the world treats all of us as terrorists; we should not be surprised when we are profiled at airports.

Simply put, not only do Muslims need to join the war against terror, we need to take the lead in this war.

There are moderate muslim sites popping up all over -- and it's a beautiful thing. Hopefully, the tide is turning and the sickening, and on-going, atrocities perpetrated by so-called men and women of faith will be condemned by men and women of real faith.

The linked article is very brief and to the point. Read it. Love it.

And commendations, kudos and pengos to Drudge for snooping it out.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:16 PM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2004

One Year Ago Today, pt n

Since I'm arriving home much later than I used to, I'm gonna go catch up on some blog reading tonight and post an archived entry. I can't believe I wrote this a year ago; seems like last month!

Anywho, I now humbly re-present: "It's All Just A Game Anyway, I'n't It...?":

Well, the Democrat debate on FoxNews is totally boring so I turned it off and wrote this mess:

Osmond: Hi, and welcome back to the celebrity edition of the $100 Pyramid, I'm Donny Osmond. I'm a grown man, dammit, why am I still calling myself "Donny?" Well, it's what I started with and it's too late to do anything about it nevermind.

In our game so far we have a tie score at nil to nada! Our team-members; Michael Moore and Ann Coulter, and Robert Downey Jr and Madonna, are going to move on to the last two categories we have on our board.
Robert, would you like "Out For A Stroll" or "Lucky 7"?

Downey: I think we'll try "Lucky 7", Donny.

Osmond: Of course, that means I can't tell you what these things have in common yet, but take the screen and see how many Madonna can guess. Ready? Go!

Downey: Okay, this is what we use to get where we want to go. Madonna: Boyfriends. Downey: No, no, it's worth alot of money and comes in different models. Madonna: Warren Beatty? Downey: No, it gets stuck in traffic jams on the highway. Madonna: Oh! A zipper! Downey: Pass it.
Downey: This is something that you ride for fun and exercize. Madonna: The gardener. Downey: No, no, no, it's inanimate... Madonna: The plumber. Downey: *sigh* This is something that you pedal! Madonna: Sleaze! Downey: Pass it!
Downey: Okay, this is something you'll find in the city. It can accomodate about 50 at a time. Madonna: Anna Nicole Smith. Downey: No, it's something you might take if you were travelling cross-country. Madonna: Extra batteries! Downey: No, no, when you're in London you might ride on a double decker... Madonna: Strap-on. Downey: Pass it!
Downey: Pass it!
Downey: Okay, they fly up in the air. Madonna: Feet. Downey: No, some are huge and carry massive loads. Madonna: Condoms. Downey: Listen: They are aer-o-dy-nam-ic. Madonna: Cu-cum-bers.

Osmond: Oh, times up. The category was "modes of transportation" and the ones you missed were all them.
Well, that leaves "Out For A Stroll" for Ann and Michael. Ann will give the clues to these things you might see as you take a walk around the block. Ready? Go!

stop sign
Coulter: Okay, this is something you'll find at a street corner. Moore: A drug dealer forced into a life of crime by gross inequities in the system. Coulter: No, it's one word and usually on a pole. Moore: Madonna? Coulter: No, it's THIS BIG and has eight sides. Moore: Dinner. Coulter: Pass.
Coulter: This is a type of flower. Moore: Semolina. Coulter: No, no, it smells sweet and is usually bought by the dozen. Moore: Doughnuts. Coulter: No, you'll likely see them on a bush. Moore: Hand-cuffs? Coulter: No, no, it's beautiful, but it's also thorny. Moore: The violent overthrow of the government. Coulter: Pass it!
Coulter: Okay, you'll see these up in the trees. Moore: Agents of the Ashcroft Justice Department. Coulter: No, they're little animals that run away in fear if you try to get near them. Moore: Stupid white men! Coulter: No, they scamper around collecting nuts all summer. Moore: The NRA. Coulter: Just pass it. Pass it...
ant colony
Coulter: This is a group of creatures that work as a collective unit. Moore: Enlightened people. Coulter: No, they work all day to impress the queen. Moore: Unenlightened British people? Coulter: No, no, how do I say's the entire organized society of little creatures that have no individual purpose, they just toil for the sake of the group. Moore: The worker's paradise!

Osmond: Well, we're still tied at zero, which means it's time for our tie-breaker round. Madonna, would you like card #1, or card #2?

Madonna: I'll take 2, Donny. And...see me after the show to find out what I mean 'cause I plan on doing a little receiving.

Osmond: Uh, I'd be tempted except that I have no intention of joining you in hellfire eternal.

Madonna: *shrugs* Hmph, pick yer poison...

Osmond: Well, you picked #2, and that means that, for this tie-breaker round, you'll be giving the clues to Robert Downey Jr these words that begin with the letter H. Words that begin with the letter H. Ready? Go!

Madonna: Okay, after your wedding you had a... Downey: Hangover. Madonna: No, I mean you took your bride on a... Downey: Harley. Madonna: No, no, um...what's in the sky at night? Downey: Helicopters. Madonna: Pass!
Madonna: okay okay, this is something that - if it's bad - you might want to break. Downey: Hyperthermia? Madonna: No, when you do something without thinking about it it's a... Downey: Hiccup! Madonna: Ugh, in the morning a nun will put on her... Downey: Haines? Madonna: Pass it!
Madonna: Okay, this is on top of your head Downey: Halo. Madonna: You cut it when it's too long! Downey: Hemp! Madonna: Arrgh! I shave it off of my legs every day! Downey: Hives? Madonna: Pass it!!
Madonna: Grrr, this is something that I have right now! Downey: Herpes. Madonna: It's a pain you get from stress! Downey: Hernia. Madonna: No, it's annoying, usually mostly in the temples... Downey: Hypocrite? Madonna: Pass! PASS!!
Madonna: Okay, c'mon now! When someone gives you this you feel better! Downey: Heroin. Madonna: PASS!!!
Madonna: When you tell the truth you are... Downey: Hospitalized. Madonna: No, you blithering idiot! Someone who tells the whole truth is being... Downey: Harsh and tactless, you washed-up cow!

Osmond: Well, time's up and you didn't get any, I'm sorry.
Michael and Ann, you have #1, and who'll be giving and who'll be receiving?

Moore: I'm gonna give, Donny.

Osmond: Okay, you're going to give to Ann clues to these things that begin with the letter T. Things that begin with the letter T, ready? Go!

Moore: When you go from one place to another you... Coulter: Tranquilize. Moore: No, no, when you take a trip you.. Coulter: Tumble? Moore: If I - let's say - wanted to go to from my house to your house then I would they have to... Coulter: Tresspass! Moore: Pass.
Moore: okay, this is something you'd dunk in hot water. Coulter: Traitors. Moore: No, no, what's a drink that you might drink with lemon? Coulter: Tequila? Moore: Ugh, there's the phrase "Packs the wallop of a wet..." Coulter: Teamster! Moore: Pass!
Moore: Okay, okay, here we go! When I speak to someone I am engaging in... Coulter: Treason. Moore: No! When you speak you... Coulter: Tingle! Moore: *sigh* Pass!!!
Moore: Another word for "frog"! Coulter: Tyrant! Moore: PASS!!!!
Moore: Someone who supports getting rid of all tariffs on imports is a "free-......" Coulter: Traitor!

Osmond: Wow, you did it!! And that means that you won the game and are going to the Pyramid! Yay!!

Okay, you have 60 seconds to get to the top of the pyramid, you know the rules, blah blah blah. Ann, you'll give nothing more than a list, no hands allowed. Ready? Go!

Things In A Lady's Purse

Coulter: A gun... money...
Moore: Things that are the root of all evil.
Coulter: National Review... the Constitution...
Moore: Things that oppress the masses.
Coulter: a tape recorder... another gun...
Moore: Things that can destroy a presidency.
Coulter: Pass it!

Coulter: Ewe...
Moore: Academy Award winners.
Coulter: ABBA...
Moore: Successful artists, successful entertainers...
Coulter: uh, um, radar...
Moore: Uh, highly complicated things...sophisticated things...
Coulter: uh...racecar...
Moore: High performance, impressive, well-tuned...
Coulter: Pass it.
Things a War Protester Might Say

Coulter: Uh, "I'm an America-hater"..."Why am I so clueless?"...
Moore: Things Trent Lott would say.
Coulter: "I should bathe more often"..."I don't know how to change a tire"..."My failure is your fault."
Moore: Things Roger Smith would say.
Coulter: "I really gotta move out of my parents' basement"..."Christ I'm useless"..
Moore: Entries in your diary...I dunno....
Coulter: Pass it!
Payroll Statistics of General Motors

Coulter: Pass!
Parts of an M-60 Machine Gun

Coulter: The buffer, the spring guide, the cover assembly, the piston, the bolt lever, the elevated sight, the...
Moore: Pass!
Academy Award Winners

Coulter: You.
Moore: Academy Award winners.

Osmond: Just in time! You just won $20!!

Moore: Can I go now?

Osmond: Please do. And that's our show for today, folks, but Ann and I would just like to say: [cue music]

Donny: May tomorrow be a perfect day
Ann: May you find love and laughter along the way
Donny: May God keep you in his tender care
Ann: 'til He brings us together again

Donny & Ann: G'night everybody!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:12 PM | Comments (3)

September 08, 2004

Some Straight Talk from Terry McAuliffe

Wallace: ...and welcome to FoxNews Sunday. I'm Chris Wallace.
My first guest this morning is the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Terry McAuliffe. Welcome, Mister McAuliffe.

McAuliffe: Thank you, Chris. Good to be with you.

Wallace: Your candidate, Senator John Kerry, has been slipping in the polls as President Bush has been rising. Is this a sign that the American people are becoming more and more convinced that the President has the stronger message; or, that the Swiftboat ads have hurt Kerry?

McAuliffe: Well, the only poll that counts is the one taken on November 2nd. But, let me just say that John Kerry is a decorated war hero while George W Bush is a draft-dodger. I'm not being negative here or anything, I'm just sayin' is all...

Wallace: Uh... Well, polls show that the anti-Kerry Swiftboat ads have taken a toll on the Senator's favorability numbers. How can Senator Kerry best overcome the blow to his credibility?

McAuliffe: The real question is "How can President Bush explain his military desertion when he went AWOL from the Texas Alabama National Guards?". That's the real question here; not what Senator Kerry did or didn't do 35 years ago.

Wallace: Er... Okay. But, President Bush's National Guard service was also 35...

McAuliffe: Is that a flag?

Wallace: Excuse me...?

McAuliffe: That pin. Is that a flag pin on your lapel?

Wallace: Why, yes, it is.

McAuliffe: So, you're a Republican then?

Wallace: Well, I don't see why you'd think that just because...

McAuliffe: Come on, Chris, only you right-wingers wear those flag pins! Admit it!

Wallace: Are you saying that Democrats aren't patriotic enough to...

McAuliffe: Hey, now. The Stars and Stripes are not in the exclusive purview of the right wing. Don't try to tell us we don't love wearing a flag pin as much and as proudly as you do.

Wallace: But, I thought that your point was...

McAuliffe: The question at hand is "Why do the polls show that the American people believe that John Kerry would be better for America on the economy, on healthcare, on education...?". These poll numbers reflect the truth and are vitally important, Chris.

Wallace: But, it's not November 2nd yet. And the overall poll numbers show Bush in the lead. Does this mean that President Bush has an advantage as we move into October and November?

McAullife: It's just too early to tell.

Wallace: Does Senator Kerry have an advantage as we move into October and November?

McAuliffe: Of course he does and here's why: While Dick Cheney was busy getting draft deferments whoa...!

Wallace: Is there a problem? You look a little dizzy...

McAuliffe: Is the room spinning, or is it just me?

Wallace: It's you, but do go on.

McAuliffe: Anyway, while Dick Cheney was busy getting draft deferments, John Kerry volunteered to go to Vietnam to serve his country.

Wallace: Well, actually, Senator Kerry applied for the same deferments and was turned down...

McAuliffe: And he joined the military and volunteered for duty in Vietnam.

Wallace: But, no. He joined the Naval Reserves, and was subsequently called to active duty...

McAuliffe: Whereupon he begged to go to Vietnam so he could defend the children of America from Richard Nixon's war in Vietnam.

Wallace: Actually, Lyndon Johnson was President when Kerry was shipped to Vietnam and then given a choice of two differant kinds of patrol boats to join. He opted for a Swiftboat which patrolled less dangerous waters than...

McAuliffe: And he served with great valor. John Kerry is a hero because he, unlike the Chimp-in-Chief, heroically threw himself onto the frontline of the battle for a stalemate in Vietnam, and would gladly devote himself to that cause again.

Wallace: But, he only served 4 1/2 months of a 12-month tour, requesting a return Stateside after...

McAuliffe: After suffering three wounds in battle that taught him that war is not something you get into just because you think that your country has the best answer.

Wallace: Well, he never lost a day of duty for those wounds and there's an official Naval investigation into the sources of at least two of his Purple Hearts. He invoked the three-Purple-Hearts-and-you-can-leave policy while in 100% perfect health.

McAuliffe: Chris, being healthy isn't a crime. I mean, how silly are these partisan attacks from the right gonna get?!

Wallace: You said "just because you think that your country has the best answer". Are you saying that the United States may not have had the best answer when it endeavored to stop the spread of communism into South Vietnam?

McAuliffe: Yes. Look, we can't go fighting tyrannical governments just because we don't like them; the world is a diverse place. Freedom is important to Americans, but, by the same token, tyranny is important to tyrants. We can't just arrogantly presume to go around imposing Liberty on people. That's the lesson of Vietnam -- a war, by the way, that John F Kennedy never would have gotten us into. Richard Nixon was wrong to just go anywhere in the world, to bear any burden, support any friend and oppose any foe, to...

Wallace: Uh... Mister McAuliffe...

McAuliffe: Look, we can't go tarnishing a war hero's record by focusing on minutia. The question, at the end of the day, is where was George W Bush while John Kerry was trying to get a deferment, signing up for inactive service, trying to stay out of harm's way, and finally getting his ass out of Vietnam as fast he possibly could? What in the world was George W Bush doing at the time? Huh, Chris? What was Bush doing?!

Wallace: I'm asking the questions, Terry.

McAuliffe: Well, I just gotta say that there are a lot of unanswered questions here.

Wallace: No shit, Sherlock.

And, stay tuned, folks. After the break we'll be talking to a 26-year-old man who claims he is the reincarnation of John Wayne. And he's pissed...

McAuliffe: Yikes. Gotta run, bye!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:10 PM | Comments (3)

September 07, 2004


I just read THIS over at RP's:

I'm a liar.
I lied about something really important today. I told my daughter that there are no monsters in the world and that she is safe and that there really isn't anything scary. The thing is, she doesn't need, at 3 1/2, to know differently. But I know.

This woman knows:

Click on the above link to read the rest. I'll wait right here!

I wrote a song in the spring of 2000 -- about a year and a half before 9/11 -- called "Lullaby". I was working on an album-length project that was purposefully very dark. I wrote it almost as a joke, but not really as a joke; an exaggeration, maybe... hopefully.

Shortly after 9/11 I listened to it again. When the line "where fire cries and people burn" came out of the speakers I had to turn the thing off. I haven't listened to it since -- until just now.
It's a slow, quiet song - in 3/4 time. The music is a high piano riff intended to sound like a music box. The lilting lyric goes like this:

Hush my baby, sleep will come close your eyes and pray for some The day is done and now you lay where peace is just a dream away

You'll be safe, I know you will,
from gremlins who've got time to kill
Sail on and leave the land astern
where fire cries and people burn

Where monsters out there on the loose
will knife you for your tennis shoes
and demons hide in ivory towers
honing all their secret powers

Where dragons promise love forever
while one eye looks for something better
and devils, they want nothing else
then to turn you into one yourself

You must beware, the most of all,
shadows dancing on the wall
for, haunting ghosts are just as real
as anything you'll ever feel

So, hush my baby, sleep will come
close your eyes and pray for some
Your day is done and now you lay
where peace is just a dream away

Sweet dreams,
sweet dreams...

I hate this song for the same reason that I hate seeing the photos of the kids in Beslan. I hate the terrorists for destroying the illusion that people just aren't capable of committing atrocities in cold blood. Even still, I held out hope that there weren't possibly people that were worse than the few who beheaded Nick Berg. Wrong again.

Maybe before 9/11 we were all a little like the Girl Child; we didn't need to let ourselves know just how dangerous and twisted humanity is capable of becoming under certain circumstances. But 9/3 was even worse because, at least on 9/11, we knew that the terrorists knew that they'd never directly face their victims as they killed them, and would never have to face the consequences of their actions. But these %$*#&s (there is no word) in Beslan shot women and children in the back as they ran for their lives.

More than ever I believe that the culture that breeds such people is a disease that can't be allowed to continue. Containment -- quarantine -- is not an option. The disease much be dealt with directly. From the indoctrination schools, to the mosques, to the governments that both feed and fear the resentments that their people harbor toward individual liberty.

In a religious context, the word "submission" can mean a lot of things. In a theocracy it can only mean one thing: tyranny. We can either fight the tyranny Islamofascists with our belief in freedom of the individual to live in peace and freedom, or we can wallow in nuance and a naive belief that peace at any cost is a righteous goal, and watch our children die at the hands of religious tyrants.
But then, we all know this already and I'm sick and tired and going to bed.

May the sun shine tomorrow.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:01 AM | Comments (2)

September 06, 2004

Song of the Day

Dennis Leary's The A$$hole Song. Who'd a-thought that a stick figure could be such a showman?

Hat-tip to Ghost of a Flea for posting this!

UPDATE: And THIS ONE's fun to play with! Click the harmonizing horsies to make them sing or shut up.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:32 PM | Comments (1)

September 05, 2004

Democratic Amoral Clarity

Sir George Turner's posting greatness continues over at the Rott.
(BTW, does anyone know why Misha isn't posting? I've asked a time or two over in the comments, but all I got were smart-aleky non-answers.)

Anyway, Sir George reflects on an article by a San Francisco liberal about the unprincipled moral wasteland that the Democratic Party has become. Substituting the pursuit of principle to the pursuit of winning at all costs, the Dems have nominated a candidate that reflects their own confused sense of purpose.

Or, as Sir George puts it in one paragraph:

Their fear of religion had them supporting a brutal fundamentalist theocracy; their demand for sexual equality had them supporting a country where women were horsewhipped for showing ankle; their horror at genocide had them supporting a man who ran death camps to meet the mass grave quotas; their disgust for soldiers had them support a country that was little more than an army ruling over the captive breeding stock that refilled the ranks; their fear of Ashcroft had them supporting a police state where people routinely disappear for not praising their maximum leader loudly enough; their outrage over the Florida election had them supporting a man who'd eliminated the last person foolish enough to vote against him. So after all these contradictions it was only a small thing to find themselves on a Quixotic quest to find a pro-war/anti-war candidate, a war-criminal/war-hero, an unwounded casualty, a patriotic traitor.


Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2004

One Year Ago Today: What If (I didn't try to post at the login page anymore..?)

One thing about the news out of Russia.........

I just spent the past hour composing a post and, I don't know what I did, but it's gone.
(I didn't hit "back", btw.)

It was all about how terrorists shooting fleeing kids in the back oughta make the tyrants of the Middle East wonder about just what kind of demonic path they've laid for themselves. That their protestations of having been "victims" of the Crusades has made them justifiably barbaric -- for their Faith's sake.
That the sacred cause of protecting/expanding their religion just might justify the destruction of humanity itself.
And, yes, that's exactly what it's come to now, Jawad (my myopic friend).

I've waited and waited and waited for the good Muslims to speak up. They're everywhere... I meet them everyday. But where are they, broadly? Out loud? On the 'net? Crying in the wilderness? Sorry, that's not enough.

You either follow or lead. That's all. Don't tell the rest of us that the word "Islam" means "surrender", and then expect us to agree with you.
Too late for that, hasBro...

The governments of the Middle Eastern nations have to take this rabid bull by the horns.
Thanking us for our help/money and then telling us that you hope we can "re-think" our policy re: Isreal, is unacceptable.
Isreal is the only patch of land in the region where you can freely walk down the street carrying some rendition of the Torah or a copy of the Bible. Persecution sucks, m'kay? Do we have that straight, yet? Or, is there still wiggle-room on the left for some mighty tollerant tyranny [suc]...?

The tyrants of the Middle East must learn the basics:
America's founding was on the principle of religious Freedom. Just the frickin' smell of a fight between religeous persecution and religious Freedom makes our collective blood boil.

And so, you have a choice: Tyranny or Freedom. Yep, it's that simple.

We don't deliver ultimatums lightly. But you've pushed at the boundries of civilization too often, too much and too hard, and have revealed yourselves to be murderous whackos unworthy of negotiation. Surrender your ideology or die.

But, since you don't fear death (and are delusional enough even to believe that there are 75 virgins awaiting your heralded welcome to eternity), this threat might fall on deaf ears. Ok.

Does the threat of a daisycutter scare ya?
Does the idea that.. ooo... just maybe you might not be caught by honorably trained professionals scare ya?

I thank God that ordinary folks like pissed-off Russians have it in them to grab the reigns and lead you skidmarks on the shorts of humanity to the place where you rightfully belong: Gone!

Maybe I'll rebuild my missing post (It was glorious!) and make it better. But, not now.

Word to the wise: Always write in Notepad and copy/paste it to the blogpage. I forgot to do that tonight.

In leiu of a fresh post [Update: actually, it looks like I pretty much re-wrote it the fresh post], I'll submit an old one. From one year ago today I present:

What If:

What if the movie JAWS was real, and it happened today? Why, you'd keep up with the latest by tuning to FoxNews, of course!

Britt Hume: Hi and welcome to Special Report, I'm Britt Hume.
Joining me now to discuss the situation at Amity Island tonight is our extended panel. Please welcome James Carville, Jeff Birnbaum, Sean Hannity, Jonathan Alter and Dennis Miller.

Sean, let me start with you. Captain Quint's boat, the Orca, has been at sea all day having set off to find and kill the Great White shark. Question: Are these three men -- Quint the Captain, Matt Hooper the oceanographer, and Police Chief Martin Brody -- enough to get the job done?

Hannity: This is the problem with Liberals today, Britt. First they didn't want anybody to kill the shark because they're totally beholden to PETA and the environmentalists; they make outrageous claims about the loss of life that'll take place if they try to get the shark; THEN they turn around and complain that there aren't ENOUGH guys on that boat that's gone out to kill it. It's sad what the party of JFK - an avid boater in those same waters - has become.

Carville: Wait now...let's just look...let's look at what we got heah. We got three guys going out on a ricketty old tub...they may be fine men, I do'no...going out to kill a shawk! What what what is...what threat is this shawk to them?
It only ate people who were in the watah! I mean you go into the watah where there are shawks and, I'm sorry to break it to ya folks, but yer gawna get eaten!

Hannity: James, four people and one dog have been slaughtered by this monster...

Carville: Well it didn' walk onto the beach, Sean. If that fish was lyin' on a blanket with a basket of lotion then I'd say there's a problem...but let the shawk be a shawk...

Hume: Isn't the problem, fellas -- the real issue -- an economic one... Jeff?

Birnbaum: Well, I, I, I just, let me say, uh, uh, it's Inde-, uh, Independence, uh, 4th of July weekend and, uh, it's a serious economic, uh, uh, situation, er, uh, concern.

Hume: Right, but how do weigh the economic health of Amity -- which depends on the open beaches -- against the need to keep people from becoming breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Birnbaum: Well, uh, these things need to, uh, be weighed by, uh, uh, in order to...

Alter: The real concern is that there are a lot of unanswered questions going around, Wolf, about...

Hume: Britt.

Alter: ....about why Chief Bundy ordered the beaches kept open in order to feed as many people as possible to the school of giant sharks. It may be that there is alot more going on than we know.
Ever since Alex Kintner's grandmother slapped the Chief, people have been saying in hushed tones "Brody lied, people died."

Hume: Uh...let's move on.
Dennis Miller... Matt Hooper, the oceanographer, brought a lot of modern equipment aboard Quint's boat. Rumor has it that Quint's a bit of a traditionalist, an old salt, as it were. How do you see their well-known rivalry playing out on board the ship?

Miller: Well, listen Cha-Cha, these guys are scaling the Matterhorn in a speed-o. What can I tell ya, Custer was better poised for victory than these three faux Ceausteaus. They're gonna see the size of that Grendel-with-gills and have as much optimism as Iron Eyes Cody when he got to the side of the highway.

Hume: So, you wonder if they really even understand what they've gotten themselves into...

Miller: Lemme tell ya, this isn't Snuffalupogus of the Sea. It's as big as a grain silo and twice as indifferent. It'll be worse than the death-toll that could have been avoided had Marion Crane only listened to a weather report.

Hume: Well, we have breaking news that the team on Orca has harpooned the shark with three barrels. This is to bring the shark to the surface and track his position. James?

Carville: What what what what in the hell are they doing shooting haw'poons into this shawk?! How would they like it if a school of catfish invaded their backyawd and started shooting them?! This is madness maddened.

Hannity: You Libs don't believe in self-defense, don't believe in the freedom to go into the water at the beach on a hot summer day...

Alter: I can't fathom why they're wasting their time with harpoons and barrels and beacons when all they have to do is show some patience and wait for the shark to come up for air.

Birnbaum: Well, I, I, uh, think that the shark needs to be, uh, er,

Hume: Spit it out, Jeff.

Birnbaum: needs to be either captured, or, uh, killed, or, uh, otherwise, uh, uh, dealt with.

Miller: Well, that was the longest trip to nowhere since Jack Swigert gave the oxygen a stir.

Hume: Joining us now via satellite from Amity beach is Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Senator Clinton, welcome.

Clinton: (cackling in obviously forced laughter) Ha ha ha, hi Britt. Great to be with you!

Hume: Senator, have you gotten a sense of how the beachgoers feel about the Orca crew having headed out to kill the shark?

Clinton: Ha! Ha! Ha! Yes! I've been listening very closely to their opinions and views which we, their trusted overseers, are so eager to hear. So, while I did have some of them talk to me, I unfortunately had to have some them removed by my entourage, and don't recall any of what they alledgedly told me about the several victims and their little dog, too! Ha! Ha! Ha!!

But as you know, Britt, my daughter Chelsea was swimming in those very waters at the time of the last attack. So, as her mother, and being so personally victimized by this, I've been very deeply and sincerely trying to show concern for all of Amity Island.

Hume: Well, actually, wasn't Chelsea swimming in a pool at the YWCA in Cambridge?

Clinton: I'm sorry, the signal is a bit choppy...

Hume: Senator, you've criticized the mayor, rather harshly, for his keeping the beaches open even after several shark attacks. Have you met with the mayor; and, if so, how did the meeting go?

Clinton: (fumbling through her notes) I'm sorry, Britt, but that question was not on the list of questions that was approved by our staffs. I'm afraid I'm unprepared to provide the information and documents. Other than that, I don't recall.

Hume: Well, I just thought that since you had been quoted...

Clinton: And I stand by what I said, and I am sick and TIRED of being called PARANOID everytime I speak out as an American against The Conspiracy in ANY reckless manner I PLEASE!! I don't think that ANY American should have to APPOLOGIZE for saying ANYTHING UNPOPULAR ABOUT ANY ISLAND'S ADMINISTRATION!!!!

Birnbaum: I, uh, my earpiece exploded.

Miller: Was that the B-side of "Instant Kharma"?

Hume: Well, we've got a few seconds left. So, final question for the panel: How will this all end? James?

Carville: Awl three are gawna die in the mouth of that shawk, and they deserve it, too, for their neo-colonialist ocean-rape.

Hannity: Let not your heart be troubled. Brody, Hooper and Quint will tow that shark in and show the world what Americans can do when they're attacked. I mean, how great is this?!

Birnbaum: Well, I, uh, want to know more before, uh, I pre-, uh pre-...

Hume: Jonathan?

Alter: I think that Quinn and Brady will die, but Ishmael will be okay.

Miller: Well, ironically they've bitten off more than they can chew and they're gonna start losing weight one limb at a time and feel like Sharon Tate on the Susan Atkins diet. I mean, lemme tell ya, this is gonna be about as pretty as how I imagine a John Waters version of "Striptease". Ted Williams has a better chance of getting sunstroke...

Hume: And that's all the time we have this time...

Miller: ...than Isabella Rossalini reviving the Stanislovsky method...

Hume:, until next time, good-night...

Miller: ...on Pitcairne Island with Fletcher dancing the Wilbury Twist...

Hume: ...and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Miller: ...while Ronnie Milsap takes his gift certificate to LensCrafters...

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:57 PM | Comments (2)

September 02, 2004

The Wall, pt 8 (The Trial - Heroes)

Part 1 (The Gunner's Dream)
Part 2 (Side One)
Part 3 (Mother)
Part 4 (Side Two)
Part 5 (Side Three)
Part 6 (Comfortably Numb)
Part 7 (Side Four)

Between getting home later than usual and being distracted by the Convention coverage, I haven't finished this fershlugginer treatment of The Wall. I will now attempt to FINALLY get this thing overwith! Woo Hoo!
So, here we go with the big finish:

One thing about "The Trial" is that the action pretty much writes itself. But, there still are so interesting ways to present the obvious.

One thing I didn't mention earlier is that, as "In The Flesh" gets underway, the chair at center-stage will be pulled back toward the platform. This is to clear the floor for "Run Like Hell" and "Waiting For The Worms".

As the music marches in, Pink is seated behind the desk with the super-sized gavel resting on top. He is leaning forward, eager to hear the case against him. The Worms will move the chair back to center-stage, then return to the front of the platform standing guard with their fists on their hips.
But, now, sitting in it is a rag doll. If you're gamiliar with the old lp's artwork then you know what I have in mind. It's the image at the very bottom of the label for side 3.
It's a very crude rag doll, off-white, the head is a sphere with two circles for eyes. It looks lonely and, at the same time, sad and detached.
The trial is directed at the rag doll in the chair, not Pink/Judge, as the rest of the Village People sit or kneels on the floor to watch the proceeding. They are the Jury. Wife, Mother and Schoolmaster are standing in the corners in the background. Wife at stage left; Mother and Schoolmaster at right.

The attorney(former member of the VP)'s pompous movements and gestures should be easy to envision as he stuts about the chair addressing the Court.

Good morning, Worm, Your Honor
The Crown will plainly show (that) the prisoner who now sits before you
was caught red-handed showing feelings
Showing feelings of an almost human nature
(wagging finger in the air:)
This will not do.

I call.... the Schoolmaster!

The Schoolmaster gallops in wildly waving his giant yardstick crying:
I always said he'd come to no-good in the end, Your Honor!
If they'd let me have my way
I could have flayed him into shape!
(pleading to the audience:)
But my hands were tied,
the bleeding hearts and artists let him get away with murder
(running to the bench/desk, grabbing the gavel and heading toward the chair while waving it in the air:)
Let me hammer him today!

But, as he approaches the chair, a Worm runs up behind him, takes back the gavel and sets it on the desk.
Pink/Judge leans back in his chair and spins gently as he pensively muses:
Over the rainbow, I am cra-a-a-zy
Bars in the windows...
They must have taken my marbles away!

The Village People stand and point at the rag doll:
(twirling their pointing finger in circles around their ears:)Over the rainbow,
(pointing back the rag doll:) He is cra-a-a-zy...

They return to the floor as the Attorney belows "Call... the defendent's Wife!"
Wife stomps slowly, on beat, twoard the chair, pointing and angry, she never takes her eyes off the doll:
You little shit, you're in it now
I hope they throw away the key
You should've talked to me more often than you did
(screaming in a tantrum:) BUT NO!!!!
You had to go yer own way
(at the back of the chair, now leaning in close:) Have you broken any homes up lately?

From behind the chair her left hand emerges with the Freddy Krueger claw, staring intently at the rag doll:
Just five minutes, Worm Your Honor
Him, and me, alone...

Two worms come forward, take Wife by the arms, and lead her back to down-stage left just as Mother comes running in. The other two Worms run forward to obstruct her path, and she stretches her arms over their shoulders, reaching for the chair as she wails:
Come to Mother, baby,
let me hold you in my arms!
Judge, I never wanted him to get in any trouble

Mother breaks through the Worms, but they follow...
Why'd he ever have to leave me?!
Worm, Your Honor, let me take him home!

As she sings "let me take him home", her sleeves will turn from black to the brick wall that we saw during the song "Mother". This time it'll be the two Worms that help to reveal it; crossing their hands so as to push it the sleeves open. Mother will then retract her arms and the wall-sleeves will return to black as the Worms lead her back to down-stage right.

Pink/Judge against mulls it over:

Toys in the attic, I am cra-a-a-zy
Surely gone fishin'

Standing up and, with his back to the audience, putting his hands up and out as if to feel the wall for weak spots:
There must have been a door here in the wall
when I came in...!

Again the Village People stand and point and twirl:
Toys in the attic, he is cra-a-a-zy

They return to the floor as Pink/Judge, still with his back turned, thinks silently, gesturing that he's weighing the evidence.
After a moment or two or three the music thunders back in as Pink spins around and kames his way toward the rag doll in the chair -- alternatley addressing the audience, the Jury and the rag doll.
The evidence before the Court
is incontravertible
There's no need for the Jury to retire!
In all my years of judging
I have never heard before
of anyone more deserving the full penalty of Law
The way you've made them suffer,
your exquisite wife and mother,
fi-i-i-lls me with an urge to defecate!!!

The cast cheer him on and Wife pumps her fist in the air shouting "Go, Judge!". Pink/Judge addresses the rag doll then returns quickly to behind the desk, singing:
Since, my friend.
you have revealed your deepest fear:
I sentence you to be exposed before your peers!
Tear Down The Wall!!!

He slams the gavel down, on beat. The cast pump their fists in the air shouting
Tear! Down! The Wall!
Tear! Down! The Wall...!

The four Worms dutifully run to four spots along the wall and grab ropes that are hanging down from about 3/4 of the way up and begin pull. The crowd chants, as the Worms tug, for about 20 seconds, or so.

Finally, as the music quiets, ka-BOOM, the wall comes down all over the stage. (There'll be stage-hands behind the wall to help it cave in, just to be sure that it's ALL torn down.)

Pink, having removed the Judge's robe and the wall-vest, makes his way toward center-stage seeming a bit dazed, yet relieved.
Appearing on the platform is the Gunner/Father. He recites the lyric to "Outside The Wall" as the cast welcomes Pink back to them. They also congradulate each other. As Gunner/Father speaks: the cast will begin solemnly to clear the stage of the bricks.

All alone, or in twos,
the one's who really love you
walk up and down outside the wall.

Some hand in hand,
some gathered together in bands,
the bleeding hearts and artists make their stand.
And when they've given you their all
some dtagger and fall
after all, it's not easy
banging your heart against some mad bugger's wall.

Continuing to clear the stage, the cast gently sing the same verse. This is where many in the audience will expect the show to end. But I've known from the beginning that I wouldn't here, and for two reasons.
1) It's needs a more upbeat ending; and,
2) There are some thematic loose ends to tie up.

I haven't found a Pink Floyd / Roger Waters song that can do it. But I think I have found the perfect choice for a finale: David Bowie's "'Heroes'".

As the cast sings the final line -- "banging your heart against some mad bugger's wall" -- the stage will be cleared of brick and they'll be in position to begin the finale.
"Heroes" abruptly comes in like a gust of wind, and the cast begin their choreographed dance routine. Their movements will be very bouncy, celebratory, and they'll be smiling throughout. It'll put a smile on every face in the hall!

At times they'll seem to be dancing a choatic free-for-all, only to suddenly do things that are astonishly intricate. The mood is celebration, and there'll be busloads of interaction between the dancers. It wont very often be "synchronized" -- no one will be dancing alone.

The lead singer will be on the platform, and probably be someone who hasn't had a solo yet. (If I direct this, it'll be me! :) )
Joyfully addressing the audience, he'll seem to be both the voice of Pink specifically, and the voice of anti-alienation generally.
Here's the lyric:

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
we can beat them, just for one day

You, you can me mean
and I, I'll drink all the time
But we're lovers, and that is a fact
yes we're lovers, and that is that
Though nothing may keep us together
we can steal time... just for one day
and we can be Heroes
forever and ever.
What d'ya say?

That great swooping keyboard swims through the instrumental portion as the dancers "swim" their bodies in and out of intricate interweaving movements.
I, I wish I could swim
like dolphins, like dolphins can swim
Though nothing may keep us together
We can beat them forever and ever
We can be Heroes, just for one day!

Another instrumental portion and, hopefully, the smiling dancers and the bouncy beat have the audience clapping along and smiling themselves.
Then the singers climbs an octave and continues the celebration:
I, I will be king!
And you, you will be queen!
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be safer, just for one day
We can be Heroes, forever and ever!

The personal meets the public in this next verse. Perfect. :)
I, I can remember
(I remember!)
standing, by the wall
(by the wall!)
and the guns (guards) shot above our heads
(over our heads!)
and we kissed - as though nothing could fall
(nothing could fall!)
And the shame... was on the other side
See, we can beat them forever and ever!
We can be Heroes, just for one day...

A more soaring instrumental interlude raises the feeling as the cast sing the refrain:
We can be Heroes!
We can be Heroes!
We can be Heroes!

The singer warns:
Or we're nothing,
and nothing will help us
Maybe we're lying...
well, then we'd better not stay
No, We can be US..!...just for one day!

The music pulsates, the dancers are beautiful, and a film collage begins to play on a screen downstage (the wall having been torn down...)

In this film we'll see brief images -- both stills and movies -- of various Heroes. In no particular order, they'll include Todd Beamer, Jeremy Glick, that guy (Leon Something) that saved the stewaress in the Potomac River in '81, that guy standing in front of the tank in Tienenmen Square, Winston Churchill, a fireman on a ladder carrying a baby, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Jessica Lynch being carried down the stairway on a gurney, New York Guardian Angels, Boris Yeltsin atop that tank during the coup of '91, Lech Welesa, sufferagettes, Special Olympians, Jonas Salk, and many various scenes of paramedics, firemen and other non-professional rescuers.

Still singing "We can be Heroes!" as the pictures end, the music will not simply end and the cast stand for a bow. Yecch!
The music will continue and the cast will move OUT -- into the audience. Still singing, still smiling, and taking the hands of the -- hopefully -- celebrating onlookers, nay, participants in this celebration of Heroes, heroism, and optimistic engagement over alienation.

I know that this was long read. And it's been a long write, believe you me!
But, there, it's done! Any thoughts? Suggestions? Comments? Criticism? Beuller?

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:19 PM | Comments (2)
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