The Din of Inequity

The Din of Inequity

...yes, I spelled it that way on purpose.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Ripped from Today's Headlines

From Yahoo!:

Study Finds Racial Imbalance on Death Row


I can only assume that the reason we have so many studies that say this, and no solution in sight, is that most people don't care.

Think about it: If black people are more likely to be put on death row, that means there are a decent number of people out there who find it more acceptable to execute black people than white people. Is it any wonder people in this day and age still think it's OK to deny service to black people in restaurants, etc.?

Racists and/or bigots need to be shunned (ass kicking would be good too, but they're legally entitled to their stupid assholish opinions). If you know somebody (black OR white) who makes racist remarks or expresses racist sentiments, you need to call bullshit on them (to their face, every time) and/or stop associating with them. To do any different makes them think, at best, that you don't care, or at worst that you agree with them.

Next post...well, I don't know, but something light.

|| Bikeboy 11:00 AM || (3) comments

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Children are our Future, and I Fear For It

On Friday night, in what I thought was a lame attempt to prove that we're not lame(1), Girlygirl and I went to the Black Cat nightclub for their 12th anniversary show. Debbie (of Blame It On Debbie Lee, our erstwhile kids' band) had told us that one of the bands was really good, and we wanted to have a little change on Friday night (and we don't have any kids) so we took off downtown to apply a new coat of punk rock paint to our otherwise well-worn and faded hipster exteriors.

We went downtown early, figuring we'd get something to eat in town before the show--the neighborhood near the Black Cat has changed so much since we used to go there that there were actually more than two choices (Polly's and Ben's Chili Bowl back in the day) for us. We chose wrong, of course, selecting some posh-looking Mexican joint (I forget the name--Alero? That's a car, isn't it? Something like that, anyway) right outside the Metro. The food was totally disappointing, and since it was on the high end of two dollar signs, a terrible value. When we sat down, we looked at the menu and remarked how back in the day, a pitcher of margaritas at El Tamarindo (a 24-hour, or nearly so, dive/Salvadoran(2) restaurant, host of many late night feeds) was like $10 or something, and at this new place, they were at least $30, and pretty small too. Turns out that even if you skip the margaritas you'll be wishing for El Tamarindo too. Not only could we have had our meal for about half the price, maybe less, it would have been at least as good.

(1)Abe Simpson: "I used to be with it, but then they changed what "it" was. Now, what I'm with isn't it, and what's "it" seems weird and scary to me."
(2)In the DC area, almost everything that claims to be Mexican food is actually more Salvadoran. Girlygirl thinks this is a vast improvement, but I think I like true Mexican better. Salvadoran works, though, and it's dead cheap most of the time.

After getting off on the wrong foot with dinner, we figured we couldn't do too badly with the rock show. I mean come on, we had a good recommendation already for one of the bands, and it's the 12th Anniversary show--for sure they'd be putting on top-notch local acts. We got there, got our hands stamped (ah, nostalgia--except it turns out that the new ink is totally easy to wash off. No more going to work days later with a blue smudge still on the back of your hand) and went on up to the big room for the show. Because we were on time, the place was pretty empty, so we sat down at the bar and had a beer, and steeled ourselves for the inevitable realization that we were old enough to be the parents of every band (and audience) member. The bartender was the same guy who's always worked there, so things were definitely looking up.

Until the bands started. To be brief, I've never heard such a load of unlistenable crap in all my life--and I've played numerous triple-bills at the Grog and Tankard (whose criterion for hiring bands seemed to be whether or not you could get your gear to the venue). We didn't even make it to the last band, even though the second-to-last band was at least competent. Maybe we should have stayed, since the show did follow the bad-to-good progression you expect, though in this case I suspect "good" would have been replaced with merely "didn't make me throw up in my mouth." Since the last band would undoubtedly been a merciful icepick in the ear, it didn't seem worth staying. We could do that at home.

We knew something was up when some guy walked onto the stage all covered in duct tape. He had all kinds of little boxes and stuff taped to himself, including some kind of screen on his chest. He picked up his bass, and some other guy came on and stood behind a table full of guitar effects pedals, tweaking knobs. For a while, there was just the predictable feedback and other awks and brrrks you'd expect from someone trying to get all their gear plugged in while being too stupid to put the amps on standby. After about five minutes of this, we realized this was the "music." You've gotta be fucking kidding me. Shortly, added to the mix was another guy--I never even saw him come on stage--who was kneeling by one of the monitors, and banging on a length of pipe hanging from a mic stand, then twiddling knobs on what I have to assume were more effect pedals. Then came the drummers. Not one, but two. They proceeded to bash away, the bass "player" continued to hit one note at random every once in a while and then fiddle with his lights and knobs and chest-mounted touchscreen, the pipe guy periodically wiggled the pipe or hit it with something, and then knelt back out of site for more twiddling, and the table guy, well, he "played" the table full of pedals. It got louder and louder, but never more intentional-sounding, and then it ended. It was SO not music.

I don't know if you know how hard it is to find a drummer when you have a band. Let me tell you it's tough. These fuckers had TWO, for their shitty band that didn't even need a second guy after the duct tape robot bass player.

The next band, well, they were pretty much the same. All I need to tell you is that their guitar "player" knelt on the floor or sat on a very low chair the whole time (sound familiar) and that two of the members of the "band" seemed to be preoccupied with a laptop. More electronic noise, punctuated at one point by human screams emanating either from the laptop or the audience (it was hard to tell).

The third band at least had singing and actual music, though there was plenty of pointless electronic noise. These guys, well, I sort of got it. I didn't like a much of it, but at least it was music (though if they'd have scrapped 90 percent of the electronic feedback and delay-repeat stuff it would have been 100 percent better). Hey--punk rock ain't pretty sometimes. Much slack was cut for them, since they'd at least interacted with the audience once or twice, and they had more than one "song." I didn't like it, but it was an effort, and I think I got most of what they were trying to do.

Where does this shit come from? It's impossibly self-indulgent. It required no skill or talent whatsoever (except from the drummers, and for shame--they should be in real bands that play music and need drummers). It sounds like what kids who have money for gear but no talent or motivation to learn to play them might do. "Hey, these pedals make weird noises. Let's plug them all into each other!" When the first band started, we were joking that maybe this is what the kids are doing these days. By the end of the third band, I became sure that this IS was the kids are doing these days, and I was embarrassed for them.

The fourth band? This was the "they're great" Eyes of the Killer Robot (great name), much hyped by Debbie. Since I know Debbie isn't on crack, I'll have to assume they were having a bad night. A really bad night. Like such an impossibly bad night as might be caused by, oh, maybe your entire town being flooded. With battery acid.

I had a pretty heavy sense of foreboding when what passed for a drum kit was a bass tom, a snare and a cymbal. Pretty "Stray Cats" I guess, but the floor tom was a dead giveaway that their drummer would suck (using the floor tom instead of the kick drum is the last refuge of non-drummers who are trying to hold a beat). When the rest of the band showed up on stage and no bass was to be seen, I nearly cracked. Shattering was complete when I realized that one of the guitar players and the singer (who looked to be sisters) were both simulating smoking. I like to call it "mouth smoking," where the smoke never gets past the mouth, and they can burn through a pack an hour. I can't think of anything stupider than paying five bucks a pack for tobacco flavored incense and breath "freshener."

So anyway, they sucked. No electronic noise, but terrible amp sounds, like broken glass pushed into my inner ear, and abominable tuneless singing for abominable tuneless songs. Hey, bring back the guys who made the noised of robot indigestion--at least their drummer was good! I'll give them some props for actually trying to write songs and play music. They failed, but they tried.

The last band played proper instruments properly, spoke to the crowd (such as it was) and played three punk rock covers. They were all about my age, pushing 40, or at least appeared to be. They even managed to smoke right.

But by this point I was so beaten down by the terribleness of the bands, my amazement that the mighty Black Cat would choose to celebrate its existence by proving that maybe it shouldn't exist anymore if this is what kids are doing "musically" these days, my continuing mental picture of my eight dollar entry fee as a single bill with wings on it, flying uselessly away, and my intense desire to not be in the presence of one more shitty band, that we left before the last band and caught the Metro home. Sober (this, plus the fact that we were going home early enough to catch the Metro, was as embarassing as having been fleeced out of $8 by Dante, owner of the club).

So what did we take away from the show? We now know why punk rock is asleep at the wheel during this fascist reich we are enduring (it can't play, and thinks it should get a show anyway). We now know that we could probably get a show at the Black Cat with just our 10-minute kids' set, standards being what they are. And we now know that things haven't changed all that much--we can go out to a rock show anytime we want and rag on the shitty bands. Just like we used to.

|| Bikeboy 1:40 PM || (2) comments

Friday, September 16, 2005

My Friend Mike

When I was a kid, I had a best friend, Mike--most people do, I'm sure(1). We did pretty much everything together. We met before we'd even started kindergarten, and were pals from the start. His family had a pool, and he loved to go sailing (my parents had a sleep-aboard sailboat), so we were pretty much together all the time, between his house/family and mine.

(1)Probably most people didn't have best friend named Mike, but I'd guess an alarming number did, since it's such a common name.

Though he certainly seemed normal, he was one of the oddest kids I ever met. Not necessarily in how he acted, but in the things that happened to him. He was the first kid I knew to break his arm. He was the first kid I knew to get knocked out. He was the first kid I knew to have to go into the hospital (three times!). He was not especially daredevilish--he just seemed to get hurt.

A lot of what happened to him was just cartoonish. His Dad was a builder, so he had this totally swinging treehouse.(2) We were constantly making modifications to it. One of the times, Sam and I were working on installing a "burglar alarm" under the floor, and Mike was below, putting an exterior skin on the floor so the "alarm" wouldn't be visible from outside. He yelled up to give him the hammer we were using. Without appearing to even think about it, Sam picked up the hammer by two fingers at the end of the handle, dangled it for an instant over the hole we had in the floor, and dropped it. "OW! Thud." Sam and I looked at each other, then down the hole. There, sprawled on the ground as though waiting for the chalk-line crime scene man, was Mike, with a hammer next to his head. Really--Chuck Jones or Buster Keaton wouldn't have staged it any differently. He was OK, but did have a bit of a bump on his melon, and really gave out to Sam about it--the combativeness that often follows a concussion? Maybe.

(2)It wasn't really a proper treehouse, since it stood on its own four legs (probably about 6 feet high, I'd guess, though it seemed really high to us) next to a tree. It was totally and unbelieveably sweet, though. Essentially a cube with a front porch, front door opening, and a back door that opened onto a fireman style pole to slide down in case we needed to make a quick getaway. There was also a sandbox underneath--and enough dogs running loose in his neighborhood that it wasn't full of catshit all the time, like the one at my house. Hell, our own cat shat in that one. Couldn't get her to stop.

Another time, during one of what I remember to be our annual periods of weeks off school because of snow(3), before their pool was completely finished, Mike and I were fooling around on the construction site. The pool shape was all poured (it was concrete, since his Dad owned the Redi-Mix place in town for a while), but it hadn't been finished off. So it had five foot tall pieces of really thick rebar sticking up around the edge every foot or so. What we were doing was grabbing two of the protruding rebars, then sort of leaning back toward the inside of the pool (with our backs to the open pool) and using the springiness of the rebar to swing out a little (with our feet still on the lip), then grabbing the next set and so on (yeah, it's kind of hard to describe). I was leading the way around the pool doing this, not paying any attention to Mike, when I heard, "WAH!" Short and sharp, just "WAH!" I turned quickly to look, and there were two rebars waving back and forth (boi-oi-oing!) with his gloves still hanging onto them, and Mike nowhere to be seen. I looked down, and there he was, bare-handed and spread-eagled on the bottom of the pool, laughing. It was probably the funniest thing I'd ever seen.

(3)This was Kentucky in the mid-to-late 70s. It seemed like every year we'd have a week or two where the whole town was coated in snow and ice so badly that we'd be out of school. It can't really have been that much, but it sure seemed to me like every winter was about 1/2 snow days.

Another time I made him puke all over his lunch tray at school. I took some chocolate pudding on my napkin and pretended to wipe my butt with it and showed it to him and the rest of my pals, to general acclaim at my cleverness and wit. Mike's eyes sort of swam in his head for a second, then GLURT! He filled up pretty much every little well in his tray, then keeled over. I hadn't even gotten to the piece de resistance, wherein I'd lick the pudding off the napkin. We never really figured out whether he was maybe already sick or something, because he went home for the day, then refused to ever speak of it again, and got really mad when we joked about it.

His cartooniness and weirdness was probably a product of his upbringing, since his house was where all sorts of craziness could happen. His Mom was an artist, and you never knew if you'd go over and be press ganged into tye-dyeing t-shirts, or doing batik, or sandcasting or mosaics or what. You could also always count on junkfood, as she was without question the worst cook ever--she once made banana pudding, but thought it needed something. So she shitcanned the whole batch, and made up another batch, with ONIONS in it. These kind of culinary hijinks meant that meals at his house frequently consisted of delivery or frozen pizzas or hotdogs. What kid wouldn't like that? And his Dad had Playboy magazines, like in the basement where we could go and sneak looking at them, though like most kids who have access to such things, he wasn't usually keen. I have NO idea what's up with that, but I've seen if a few times.

Anyway, we started to grow apart eventually, which is how these things often go, I guess. He started to seem doctrinaire and judgmental to me--he had a lot of ideas about how things were supposed to be, and was really offended by going against that grain (which I guess I did more and more as I got into my teen years--I think it got weird when girls entered the mix). Ultimately, my family moved to Indiana. I hardly saw him after that, and when I did see him, we'd both changed SO much. The years of 15, 16 and 17 are times of such upheaval that it was inevitable. By the time I was off to college, I hadn't seen or spoken to him in a couple of years, and didn't do so until maybe a year ago (so something like a 17 year hiatus there). We're not friends anymore, I guess, but at least we know we're both alive, and both have some regret at how things dissolved so rapidly, without any acknowledgement from either of us.

We were both the center of each other's universes for so long--probably 11 or 12 years by age 15. His house was my house. We shared the joy of riding bikes on construction dirtpiles, the frustration of arriving at Junior High to discover that we could no longer be friends with some people we'd known all our lives because of some inexplicable social divide, the Monty Python, Dungeons and Dragons and other early-teen obsessions, the confusion about what "going with" a girl meant(4), the desperation about finding girls to "go with," though we had little interest in or understanding of dating, the excitement of our first time making out with girls (we both got some makeout action on the same night at summer camp) and much more. So it's sad and surprising that we couldn't sustain it. I guess neither or us knew how. So anyway, this here is my acknowledgement that I wouldn't be the person I am without Mike, and that most of the formative experiences of my childhood involve him one way or another, and believe it or not, that's a compliment.

(4)"Going with" someone, near as I can tell, was our Jr. High's equivalent of monogamy. Since we were only 13 or so, there was no real dating--we went to pretty much every event in single-sex gaggles. If you were going with someone, it meant you could count on them to accept your invitations to dances and parties, even though you'd probably ignore them when you were there. Highly complex junior mating ritual, I guess. Of course it's entirely possible that I had it all wrong--it would explain the generally-unsatisfying nature of the experience the one time I bothered to ask someone to go with me.

|| Bikeboy 2:34 PM || (3) comments

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

You don't know what it's like to be the most hated man in Kiddie Music!

So today Smed put something up in his blog about how he's always fantasized about being in a band (with me, among others, actually). So I thought I'd do something similar, except of course I'd be writing about being in an actual band (ha, ha). It turns out there are more ways than you'd think to wind up in a totally different band than you'd planned on.

Of course he as MANY more readers than I do (not that that would take more than one), so the joke's on me. I think probably it has something to do with his extreme posting frequency, or maybe the substantially lower "acidity." And yes, I'm going back to in-line annotations today.

So anyway, yeah, I'm in a band*. Because said band consists 50% of guys who've been in real-deal touring bands but now have real jobs (no, I'm not one of them**), we're keeping it casual. Even though you'd never know it to look at our rehearsal space in my basement, with a PA system and amp setups that could be used unreinforced in a frigging stadium. Casual means something very different to a guy who used to be on a major label, I guess. Plus, it makes me and Girlygirl feel like authentic rockers, which we most assuredly do NOT feel like most of the time.

*We call ourselves The Blames, and nobody else calls us that because really nobody's seen us.

**I have a real job, OK? I'm talking about the touring band thing. Sheesh.

We've been working up cover songs pretty exclusively, as that meshes nicely with our once-a-week-rehearsal-with-no-practicing-on-our-own-time schedule***. A little old-school rock, a little punk rock, a little classic rock, some art rock--you name it, if it's got rocks in, we're all over it. We're skipping the blues stuff, though it's my forte--I don't exactly know why, but the other men in the band--I'll call them Bill and Mike, which is what I call them anyway--don't seem to think we can pull it off. Whatever.

***I have had to break this schedule repeatedly because as the nominal "lead" guitarist, I'm sometimes called on to play stuff I can't possibly learn with only one hour a week of practice. Hardly seems fair to me, since our bass player and drummer are ex-pros, but there you go. They also have kids, so if somebody's got to take one for the team... Of course I suck anyway, but the suction is greatly attenuated by extra practice.

Up until this summer, the band really has been once a week, punctuated by holiday- and vacation-induced outages. Then in July we were approached by a friend of Bill's to play at a show at her house. She does this monthly show called Rock 'n' Romp, which is about putting on shows of local music for parents with young kids (AKA Shut-ins because their own bad judgment in choosing to have kids) who can't really get out for nighttime shows anymore. It's pretty cool, I have to say, though Girlygirl and I are not technically invited, childless and able to attend normal shows as we are.****

****And if normal shows happened a five minute walk from our house, and cost $4 with free beer, like Rock 'n' Romp does, we might actually go to them sometimes.

Debbie needed another act for the mid-August Romp, so we were in. Debbie even volunteered to make it easy for us, and provided some rockin' kids' songs we could learn, and she'd even sing them. Cool for us, and "Blame It On Debbie Lee"***** was born.

*****See how clever we are, with the names? Man. I have to find some way to cut down on the footnotes, or start using numbers...hey wait! I could use numbers! Maybe next time.

The day of the show, we learned that we'd be "headlining" because the real star act of the day was leaving town to go on tour or something, and needed to get done early. Fine. What we also discovered that day was that the kids were totally ignoring the bands, who were not playing kid songs at all, just their regular set (6). Great. We learned a punk-rock version of Itsy-Bitsy Spider, a song about a science-experiment monkey who escaped the scientists to play hockey with the local kids (7), and a song about brushing your teeth ("That's Where the Plaque Is") to play for a bunch of 30-something hipsters. Perfect.

(6)Hey! That's better! Something else I noticed about the other acts (both at our show and the next one, which we also got to go to because, hey--until this whole thing blows over, we're in a band with the promoter), is that you can tell the actual touring bands from the "we have real jobs and just do this on the weekends because we can't bear to see our hipness ebbing slowly away along with our slim, girlish figures or worse, our hair" because the latter all have amazing, brand-new gear. Top line amps--either vintage or boutique--and super sweet instruments, all in mint condition. The real rockers may have decent gear, though I've seen some amazing pieces of crap, but it's all beat to shit. It definitely pays to have a job, and to keep your gear in your rec room 99% of the time.

(7)I'm more than a little disturbed by this song. Girlygirl and Debbie both assert that the monkey is meant to be an astronaut monkey, but since I can't be arsed to listen to the words, I'm assuming he's avoiding cosmetics testing or some kind of scary vivisection or electrode implantation. Since, in the song (I listen to SOME of the words) the National Guard is called in to find the monkey, it may be some kind of weaponized biological agent testing. Not that it would be all that great to go into space anyway, since most of the animals that went up were left up there to starve/suffocate. I say that since the monkey's got a hockey stick he needs to bash some folks over the head and make a run for it.

But when we went on, Debbie had...stickers! Which of course brought all the greedy little rugrats right down front and center to get adhesive in their hair and eyes and stuff. And with the help of some encouraging parents (it helped, I think, that Debbie's and Bill's very young sons were TOTALLY into it), the kids went apeshit with all these little inflatable guitars, and everybody had a terrific time.

Next thing we know, we've been invited to play the Baltimore Rock 'n' Romp in September, and have been optioned to play a possible winter Romp at the Black Cat club downtown (if Debbie can actually make it happen).

Not having any kids of my own, and generally finding that kids give me heartburn, it was really weird getting sucked into the kids' rock thing like that. One day we were troglodyting it up in my basement, and the next we're the hottest kiddie act in Silver Spring. Were we sacrificing our "cred?" Nope, never had any. Bill and Mike do, or used to, but not the band as a whole. Were we sacrificing our "art?" Again no--it's not like we're actually doing original songs or anything.

So we're doing this as a one- or two- or three-off. And hey--it's not like we were going to have a shot at playing the Black Cat any other way.

|| Bikeboy 1:24 PM || (2) comments

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Oh, To Be Trivial

Maybe it's where I live. Maybe it's that my politics have never been so diametrically opposed to the policies of the Reich. Maybe it's that I've become serious, and a total dick.

Whatever my problem is, it seems to have manifest as an inability to put together a post more than a couple of sentences long that isn't obsessively political. Believe me, I have a similar problem with conversations these days too.

Last night, we had some friends over, and while we did manage not to talk too much about the current state of affairs in this country*, conversation just wasn't the kind of lightness and jokes I remember once having. About the best it got was discussing the serious injuries we'd had. And not in a Jaws-esque drunken scar contest way either, more's the pity. And yet I'd consider it one of the more successful forays I've had recently into non-political, not irate conversation.

I have a friend out in Indiana (maybe it is where I live) who doesn't seem to have this problem at all. He's started up a blog**, and is totally able to keep his blogging all about himself, his opinions and his life and in general "the small stuff." It's refreshing to read, though it does sort of throw my own current state of mind into stark relief. We used to be peas in a pod, with not a care in the world, except when the next beer was coming (general answer: Soon, and plenty of it) and when we'd get laid next (general answer: Not at all soon), and how our fantasy football teams were doing.

I used to be that guy, and I want to be him again.*** So while I can't promise not to be political****, I think it would do my head good to keep it local for a while (like more local than DC politics). I hope for a little while to limit my bitching and other observing to local/personal issues and see if I can just generally not be so goddamn heavy all the time.

It would be way more fun for you, O my one of reader, I'm sure.

I don't want to wind up doing what Girlygirl did to her blog, Oinkment. She killed it off because she couldn't bear to write anymore. She's having the same problem I am with the whole seriousness thing, which stands to reason as we're married and all. I'm still hoping I can fix my head and my blog, and with any luck each will help fix the other.

*We sort of put a moratorium on it, since, while we all agree on this stuff, we also all begin shooting steam out our ears out of frustration pretty fast. It's hard to have a conversation when every sentence is "And then when I saw X I...I just...aargh fuck!"

**I'll link to it soon--I have to re-build some stuff over there on the right side of the page anyway, since Oinkment has gone away, as have a couple of others, I think. I also need to figure out why the site doesn't display properly in Mozilla-based browsers, and why the comments feature likewise only works with Exploder. And I need to change my tag line--those of you visiting via something other than Exploder aren't even seeing it, but those who do see it know it's gotta be nine months out of date, at least.

***Though perhaps without so much beer. At my current income level, spending fully 1/3 of my income on drink like back in the day would be really scary.

****As Bart Simpson said, "I can't promise I'll try, but I'll try to try."

|| Bikeboy 5:09 PM || (0) comments

In My Opinion...

Barbara Bush (the idiot Prez's Mum) is a racist, classist cunt.

Babs thinks underprivileged people pushed out of their totally destroyed homes so they can live in a fucking stadium in a strange city and get visited by idiotic out-of touch has-been political ape-wives are getting a good deal and must be enjoying it.

|| Bikeboy 11:17 AM || (0) comments

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Harry Connick Says...

That New Orleans will rebuild. Because, you know, they put musicians/supposed actors in charge of those decisions.

I'm not saying they won't, or that they shouldn't, but Harry Connick? Like, right, his opinion on this is the one I'm going with.

It's an interesting question, I think. It's definitely a historic city, a major tourist destination, and home (ancestral or othewise) to a hell of a lot of people, and so you can make a real good argument for rebuilding. Some people would look at it and be stunned that there's even a question about it--just write off an entire city? Doesn't make sense.

But hey--it's not like we've been faced with the wholesale destruction of an entire American city before. We literally don't know what to do--it's the first time it's happened.

You've got to admit, though, it's a stupid place for a city*, and getting stupider** all the time, since it's plain that hurricane season is getting longer and more intense every year. You can believe what you want about why, but it's happening. Only an idiot would imagine this couldn't happen again. Hell, I think it could happen again within the next five years. I think living in Florida is pretty stupid (for lots of reasons), and while the entire state will probably have been rebuilt at least once in the next 10 years, I can't say I'd write it off.

I'm pretty conflicted about the whole thing--and I guess it doesn't matter right now, since there are a lot more pressing issues facing folks down there. I sent my money to the Red Cross--did you?

*I read a quote from some guy (weather guy? climate guy? authority on stupid places to live? Somebody who'd know about such things, anyway) who said that New Orleans is essentially a part of the Gulf of Mexico right now.

**Because this is a disaster, and disasters make people really keen to point out how insensitive other people are (it seems to me that actually helping, and accusing others of being insensitive to the victims, are typically inversely proportional), I should point out myself that I don't for a minute think people had to be stupid to get stuck in New Orleans during this. A lot of otherwise-sensible folks opted to stay, which was stupid, but a lot more people just didn't have the resources or the ability to get out. Those people (and really even the dipshits who stayed voluntarily) need help, and didn't deserve what they got (or frankly, are getting).

The looters, on the other hand, can go fuck themselves. Yeah, I know--how will you tell who's a looter when you're handing out aid? Probably you can't, and you should just give it to everyone and hope their assholishness comes back to haunt them some other way. And I also don't really mind the people who looted food and water and such, if they were at least a little fair about how much they took, and that they share later (a huge if)--that stuff is going to be in really short supply soon. Probably is already, and better it should be "liberated" than left to get soaked or otherwise ruined. The fuckers who are stealing consumer durables should drown, especially since I bet 99% of what got looted will neither be useable nor salable. It's all just going to get thrown away when these people realize that they're in serious trouble, and 20 pairs of jeans or a couple of DVD players isn't going to get them, or anyone else, out of it.

|| Bikeboy 5:18 PM || (0) comments