Rudy Can't Fail

Rudy Giuliani. Rudy f–kin’ Giuliani. I caught the last 10 minutes or so of his horrifying public deep-throat of his paymasters in the Fellato-drome as I was shovelling down my lunchtime bibimbap this afternoon. In the way of a good journalist — which of course we know all bloggers aspire to be, with ‘blog is to journalism as waffle iron is to pita bread’ our battle cry — I’m going to pretend that I watched the whole thing with rapt attention, rather than with one eye while I mixed a big dollop of gochu-jang into my rice.

What kind of man could this unhinged bastard be? That he actually believes the kinds of things he said, up there with his naked face hanging out, boggles the mind. It would seem, unlike the president whose steaming sidewalk turds he unhinged his jaw to gobble up — whether in the name of tribal solidarity, or clean streets, or merely because we live in a world where public fabrication in the name of self-preservation trumps the lives of thousands, I don’t know — that he’s not merely a stupid man. How could he possibly justify the audacity of the warispeace platitudes and outright howlers he lobbed out over the heads of the assembled herd animals in the pit? Most of the assembled groundlings, interestingly, appeared to be a little bemused and confused as they milled and mooed that there was a distinct absence onstage of naked Iraqis chained to the pillars or homos cruficied and bloody in front of the stars-and-stripes. Is it possible that the fog of bullsh-t that was emanating from this opportunist f–k up on stage was choking them, too? Perhaps not, but I’m eternally the optimist.

“As I stood watching the towers fall, I turned to Bernie, and I said, ‘Thank God George Bush is our president’.”

Really? Did you really do that, Rudy? And how, for the rest of your life, will be you able to live it down, if you actually did?
To Giuliani’s credit, perhaps, was the look in his piggy little eyes as he limped his way through his clumsy litany of weasel-sh-t doubletalk. You could see it, if you looked closely: ‘Help me!’ his eyes seemed to be saying, while his mouth continued to force words out around the mechanically-reclaimed Republican meat that was occluding it. ‘Let me the hell out of here! I’ve sold my soul and made a foul, demonic joke of my integrity, and the price wasn’t high enough! There’s no way back from this, and I’m nuts-deep in the toothy maw of the beast!’
But f–k him. He made his choice. He’s a force for evil now, whether or not he ever was anything but. He’s on the side of America! The! Great! America! Mom and apple pie! America! Freedom and equality for some! America! Commerce is honour! America! Hurry up and get those ovens finished, so we can get this Final Solution thing underway! America the proud torturers! America! With us or against us!
I have mentioned before that I’m against you, right, America?
Just so we’re clear.

Fallout from the Blog Bomb

Is it anti-communitarian of me to say that I’m wryly amused by all the ‘bloggers’ jostling like wee piggies for a nipple at the Democratic convention? That jockeying for pole position in the anecdote-race to be the first to fellate the rich and powerful is a teeny bit distasteful to me?
Will I get in trouble (again) with all those otherwise good and smart people who are all a-twitter about the fact that they really really matter now? Now that they’re inside the chalk borders of the pentagram? I mean, it’s cute, all right. Sure. Like the wallflower become belle of the ball. And having them tell themselves, and us, in public, how it’s a sign that the heavy elements of democracy are sinking through the clouds of the blogosphere, like the glittering dusty fallout from the Blog Bomb, back onto the heads of the Common People? That a change is a-comin? That’s precious, and may even have a kernel of truth to it. More power to ’em. But.
But I’m still waiting, and still looking, for one — just one! — who has the bravery and the cockeyed gonzo ballsiness to rip a few new assholes in the purveyors of all that sanctimonious ‘America The Great’ autowankery, and, say, fling an empty Royal Reserve bottle at the stage while Joe Lieberman does his coattail ride into obscurity. Metaphorically or otherwise. And then write about it. In realtime.
How I wish that there were a few writers there splashing their talent (and cocktails) all over the web. Not just permalink patriots and also-ran digerati, but mad bloggy bastards who’d give me some stank, some snark, a few laughs. How I wish Rageboy could’ve gone and kicked out the motherf–king jams, or dong_resin, or Golby the crazed. Whoever. Just somebody whose panties don’t go all damp at the idea of getting spattered with John Edwards’ sweat.
I don’t want to see digital snapshots of you posing with some other blogerati dildo or fawning over some Real Celebrity, framed with a bit of Commentary Lite, damn it. I want you to write something that will make me laugh and weep and want to go and break a bottle over someone’s head (or laugh and weep and give somebody an equally random big ol’ kiss on the lips), then dance like a tarantula-bitten gypsy. Something to fire me up a bit! I want a Hunter S Thompson, by god, a Mencken, somebody with a bit of rage and a bit of juice in ’em, with too many damn words and a talent for juggling them. Someone who sees the opening, seizes it, then drives a juggernaut of text right through the quivering greasy middle of it, while lesser mortals scatter in fear for their lives.
Hell, maybe there are bloggers out there doing that at this convention. If so, point me to them. If not, well, get me a plane ticket and a pass to the Republican Clusterf–k, and I’ll do the damn job myself.
Never send a blogger to do a wonderchicken’s job.
[Update : Well, OK, this is pretty damn cool. But I’m stickin’ to my knee-jerk contrarian guns, damn it!]
[Update 2: Well, besides the Mighty Fafblog, even if I do have my suspicions that Fafnir and Giblets aren’t actually there. Still: fafferrific or faffelicious? You decide!]
[Update 3: Oh, crap. Me and John Freakin’ Dvorak. I’m turning in my decoder ring.]
[Update 4: f–kin’ A, Tutor, my old nemesis.]

Am I Angry? Do I Hate? Can I Kill?

Anal rape of children is bad. This is a sentence that, in the normal course of things, one would think that it would be unnecessary to write. I’m pretty sure — much as I loathe humanity, most of the damn time — that the majority of humans on this planet, obsessed as they tend to be with their progeny, would agree with me that raping children is a bad thing. One of the worst things that you can do, they’d probably say, short of maybe genocide.
Or rather, cleansing. Ethnic cleansing, to wash away those pesky ethnic underarm stains that are so embarrassing in polite society.
‘Rape’s a part of war, though, stav!’ I hear you cry, as I cup quivering-with-rage hand to shell-like ear. ‘To the victor the spoils, and the orifices. The plunder, the glory! It’s part of our common human heritage! It’s tradition, damn it!’
Well, sure. But butt-f–king kids while their mothers look on? While videotaping it? I’m not sure that’s really in line with the ‘rape, loot and pillage’ modus operandi so loved and respected throughout human history. Pushing the envelope a little, that. It may not be specifically forbidden by the letter of Geneva Convention, for example, but I’m pretty sure it goes against the spirit of it.
Which is why the Bush administration spent so much time and effort trying to ensure that their troops would not be bound by international law, of course.
Because that’s what the Americans were doing, it seems, at least until they got caught.
Raping children. With Soldiers Gone Wild spring-break videography.
I wrote an deliberately, egregiously offensive piece called ‘Neocon Allegory‘ many months back, in which Dick Cheney anally rapes and murders an Iraqi boy. It was the most over-the-top offensive thing I could come up with, that little piece, after the unwelcome images of that tableau had gotten their claws into me, and I knew I had to write it down to get it out of my head. I wrote it down alright, and I’ve thought about deleting it many times since. I’m glad now that I didn’t.
How horrifying is it that the central metaphors of that post — the rape of children by Dick and George, the rape of two nations, of the whole f–king planet — would seem to have come true, in as literal a way as one could imagine in the worst mescaline-driven nightmare? How awful that the worst metaphorical flight of nasty invention I could come up with is now a reality in fact, and it’s being hidden by the powerful and ignored by the hypnotized?
Pretty awful. And they ask why I seem to hate America so. They keep asking.

A Political Dream

I had a dream last night. A glorious technicolour dream. A political dream.
In my dream, Candidates Kerry and Edwards realized that Dim George and Snarling Dick were going to pull Osama Bin Laden out of their asses at some opportune moment before the election, and crucify him on the White House lawn. Plant the cross in a pool of scented oil to keep the saudi cooties from spreading, invite the bloodclan and Fox News and Dad, and rouse the tribes to a tumescent, frantic headline-crawl apogee of Republican vote-lust. But in a tasteful way, with very little mention of anyone having to go and f–k themselves.
My dream-representation of the light dawning in the Johns’ minds was a tableau of them making cute anime ‘O’s with their mouths while rolling their eyes upwards toward a shared thought balloon in which Dick Cheney was holding the severed head of Osama up by its hair, letting the blood drip onto a Diebold voting machine. It was way cool.
So Franken-John and Pretty-John decided to go proactive. Winning, Kerry declared in his endearingly halting, tone-deaf way, is as much about kicking… some… mother…f–king ass as it is about proactively leveraging mission-critical paradigms in a time-sensitive fashion. Edwards popped up in front of him to declare that the only way to make America strong, to unite America again, and to preempt an October Suprise that would make America unstrong and disunited, was if the two of them were to hunt down that bastard OBL themselves, and beat the chickenhawks at their own game.
Yeah! said the crowd. Woo!
And so, enlisting the aid of a bionic monkey named Limbaugh (because robots and monkeys are funny, and a robot monkey wins by default (until the bionic monkey pirate shows up, at least)), the two boarded a Black Hawk helicopter and departed from an undisclosed location into the free and democratic mountains of America’s Newest Ally, Afghanistan. This wasn’t just any helicopter, mind you. This was way better than the Campaign Bus they figured on using off the get-go. Yes, this was a stealth chopper, and its shiny new Kerry/Edwards vinyl appliqués were replaced with other shiny new ones, ones shouting stuff like ‘Death To America!’ and ‘Jihad or Bust!’ (but with barely-legible disclaimers underneath in tiny little print, just in case somebody got the wrong idea). These guys were clever, canny combatants, and they had good media advisors!
With Lurch resplendant in Ramboriffic headband and shiny plastic nippleless muscley-torso, and co-John working his best assets and looking simply stunning in his floor-length silk gown, they combed the arid hills of the Afghan-Pakistan border in their OsamaChopper, setting down each evening as Allah’s sun sank into the dusty haze to lay traps for the Bad Guys. Candidate Breck Girl strutted his silky stuff while bandolero-strapped Candidate Kerry lurked in the shadows with Limbaugh and waited, guns akimbo, frowning for the film-school interns with the digital video cameras. Waiting for their quarry to strike the bait.
Waiting, and drinking whiskey, because that’s what men do when they’re hunting outlaws with a bionic monkey at their side.
That’s when I woke up with a start, all sweaty and disoriented. I hope I never have to see that look on my wife’s face again.

The Friday Five — Lazy Bastard Edition

Because I am a bad person, I have not been scouring the permalinkosphere for nuggets of excellence with my usual steely-eyed vigor this week.
Despair not, though, gentle readers, for I have nonetheless come up with a Single Link of such Power and Glory that it will make up for the notable lack of the Other Four, and quite possibly melt your Snatch Hairs.
Smoke ’em if you got ’em.
And so [drum roll please] I give you… the Friday One! Do not operate heavy machinery while using this blog.

  • The Fafblog
  • ME: So I understand you made a lot of your fortune through the US fishing industry Rev Moon.
    REV. MOON: HA HA HA! It is no longer merely a fishing INDUSTRY! I have now dubbed it the Worldwide Unity Church of Fish, and through it I have married each and every fish in America!
    ME: Wow that is impressive!
    REV. MOON: Fish will no longer debase themselves in gross extramarital usage of the fish love organ! So declares Moon, Guardian Messiah-King of the Fish!
    ME: Guardian-King of the Fish?
    REV. MOON: Yes indeed! I was annointed such when I ascended bodily into Icthyon, the 19th realm of Heaven, and knighted by JaBudah, the Jesus-Buddah hybrid and holy avatar of the Fish Genome!
    ME: Oh wow! Not THE JaBudah?
    [more…]

    The Other Friday Five – Guilt-Plagued Edition

    Yes, it’s Friday again in Korea — the first time it’s been Friday in, like, a couple of months, thanks to new legislation outlawing Friday in Korea in favour of having Thursday twice to reduce alcohol consumption (you read it here first!) — and so time for the Other! Friday! Five! in which I provide precisely 5 hard-won links to some things that I quite enjoy, and you click on them, and everybody’s happy.
    Some of our lovely contestants you may know, some you may not. It’s all good.
    So without further ado, join me down in the government yard in Trenchtown, friends, and revel in the linky goodness.

    [Post postscript : I’ve been daydreaming about The Before Times (™DV Polymedia) lately, and if the delicious frosty beverages I plan to consume this evening treat me right, I may have a tale or two to tell of those times when I should have (in the immortal words of Moe Berg) ended up dead in a ditch somewhere with a mind full of chemicals like some cheese-eating highschool boy. But didn’t.
    What’s the point of doing stupid things unless you get at least a few amusing anecdotes out of it, right? Stay tuned to this channel!]

    The Other Friday 5 Part 3 : The Bottle Strikes Back

    Yes, friends, I’ve actually done something I said I was going to do, and on time as well. It’s the dawning of a new era, I tell you, and nothing on God’s green earth can stop me now! I’m bristling with barely contained power, the sparks are fair flying off me — his floating eyes, his flashing hair! — and the very earth beneath my feet trembles and groans and heaves in fast thick pants. Dearly beloved, it’s time once again to unleash the chthonic power of this internet, and reveal unto you : The Other Friday Five. These are things I like, and I am showing them to you.

    Share and Enjoy.

    Impeachy

    If you’ve landed in the ‘bottle looking for some invective-laced wonderchicken perspective on the impeachment of Noh Moo Hyun here in Korea today, well, you’re outta luck, my friends. At least for the moment.
    I will opine that the sh-t is quite possibly going to hit the fan, though. Will it be a tipping point, where the resentment and anger at how badly this country is governed by the wrinkly old chaebol rent-boys finally spills out of the confucian cup? I don’t know, and I’ve got beer to drink, but in the meantime you could do a lot worse than going here.

    Next question becomes how at such a time of great national distress and instability could the country possibly endure an Assembly election? Shouldn’t the save-the-fatherland conservatives see to it that it is canceled in the interest of “stability” and “economic growth” and “national defense,” just like they said whenever they used tanks to do the same thing? (Remember that the GNP is the direct patrilineal descendent of the Democratic Justice Party (Min jeong dang) of Chun Doo Hwan, several sneaky transformations in the past.)
    It all makes you wonder.
    […]
    More people are going to be in the streets for political protest than at any time since the June Struggle of 1986. Maybe that’s the whole idea. “How do you hold an election with such chaos?”
    [more…]

    Interesting.

    The decorous glory of Korean democracy. Or, you know, not.

    The Other Friday Five #2 : Electric Boogaloo

    Yes, I actually remembered something from one week to the next, it’s Friday in Korea, and so it’s time for another pulse-pounding, axle-snapping, gear-grinding installment of the Other Friday Five. So here are some personal websites of which you may or many not be aware, but you should be, by golly, if you’re not. A mixed bag this time, with a little something for everyone. Line on the left, one cross each.

    Share and Enjoy.
    Bonus link : All this blog-reading I’ve been able to do lately has been entirely thanks to the most excellent Bloglines. I never thought I’d be an aggregator user (and I wish there were some way to tell how many people are reading my feeds), but I am now a convert. Hoopla!
    [Postscript : it would make my world that much closer to perfect if everyone would be more free with their content, and include full text of their posts in their feeds, rather than a parsimonious little excerpt. There’s probably some good reason not to, but I don’t know what it is. Pretty please?]

    The Other Friday Five

    In the first of what may become a hallowed ‘bottle tradition, universally praised and flatteringly imitated all around this mighty net of inters on which we play†, I offer you five links to five Most Excellent Personal Websites, Containing High Quality Words, Sentences, And Paragraphs, With the Added Attraction of Amusing Anecdotes‡, websites of whose existence you may or may not be aware, but nonetheless websites you should bookmark and enjoy on a daily basis if you have a shred of human decency left in your souls, you bastards*.

    Share and enjoy.
    † …or may, on the other hand, be a caffeine-fueled one-off. You never know.
    ‡ Apologies for the Comedy Capitalization. Cheap, I know, but I’m Feeling Whimsical.
    * Just choking around, as we used to say in my crypto-racist hometown. Most of you aren’t bastards at all!

    Compare and Contrast

    Here’s George Bush’s recent speech.
    Here’s the same speech, with the following substitutions :

    • “Marriage” becomes “whiteness
    • “the same gender” becomes “a brownish color
    • “the union of a man and a woman” or “the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife” or “a union of a man and woman as husband and wife” becomes “racially superior
    • “a husband and wife” becomes “white people

    Please note upfront that I am about as far from being a racist as one can get, and I am astonished that anyone could think that gay marriages are in any way a bad thing, for anyone. Bigotry in any form is repulsive. This thing is meant to shine a light on Mr Bush and his puppeteers, and that’s all.
    I hope this little search-and-replace exercise helps put things in a historical context for you, dear reader. It did for me.

    BUSH: Good morning.
    Eight years ago, Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the Defense of whiteness Act, which defined whiteness for purposes of federal law as racially superior.
    The act passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 342-67 and the Senate by a vote of 85-14.
    Those congressional votes, and the passage of similar defense of whiteness laws in 38 states, express an overwhelming consensus in our country for protecting the institution of whiteness.
    In recent months, however, some activist judges and local officials have made an aggressive attempt to redefine whiteness. In Massachusetts, four judges on the highest court have indicated they will order the issuance of whiteness licenses to applicants of a brownish color in May of this year.
    In San Francisco, city officials have issued thousands of whiteness licenses to people of a brownish color, contrary to the California Family Code. That code, which clearly defines whiteness as racially superior, was approved overwhelmingly by the voters of California.
    A county in New Mexico has also issued whiteness licenses to applicants of a brownish color.
    And unless action is taken, we can expect more arbitrary court decisions, more litigation, more defiance of the law by local officials, all of which adds to uncertainty.
    After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization.
    Their actions have created confusion on an issue that requires clarity. On a matter of such importance, the voice of the people must be heard. Activist courts have left the people with one recourse.
    If we’re to prevent the meaning of whiteness from being changed forever, our nation must enact a constitutional amendment to protect whiteness in America. Decisive and democratic action is needed because attempts to redefine whiteness in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country.
    The Constitution says that “full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts and records and judicial proceedings of every other state.”
    Those who want to change the meaning of whiteness will claim that this provision requires all states and cities to recognize same-sex whitenesss performed anywhere in America.
    Congress attempted to address this problem in the Defense of whiteness Act by declaring that no state must accept another state’s definition of whiteness. My administration will vigorously defend this act of Congress.
    Yet there is no assurance that the Defense of whiteness Act will not itself be struck down by activist courts. In that event, every state would be forced to recognize any relationship that judges in Boston or officials in San Francisco choose to call a whiteness.
    Furthermore, even if the Defense of whiteness Act is upheld, the law does not protect whiteness within any state or city.
    For all these reasons, the defense of whiteness requires a constitutional amendment.
    An amendment to the Constitution is never to be undertaken lightly. The amendment process has addressed many serious matters of national concern, and the preservation of whiteness rises to this level of national importance.
    ‘Racially superior’ is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. Ages of experience have taught humanity that the commitment of white people to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society.
    Whiteness cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society.
    Government, by recognizing and protecting whiteness, serves the interests of all.
    Today, I call upon the Congress to promptly pass and to send to the states for ratification an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting whiteness as racially superior.
    The amendment should fully protect whiteness, while leaving the state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than whiteness.
    America’s a free society which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens. This commitment of freedom, however, does not require the redefinition of one of our most basic social institutions.
    Our government should respect every person and protect the institution of whiteness. There is no contradiction between these responsibilities.
    We should also conduct this difficult debate in a matter worthy of our country, without bitterness or anger.
    In all that lies ahead, let us match strong convictions with kindness and good will and decency.
    Thank you very much.

    [Credit where due : I stole this idea from half of these people here (but I’m not going to tell you which half – ha!), via a certain not-to-be-mentioned kitty-loving community website, but I think I improved on it a bit.]
    [Update : There are those who would protest (even though I’m not seriously equating them) that racial and sexual-orientation discrimination are apples and oranges. Perhaps, but they are more interrelated in American law than I had thought.

    There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy. We have consistently denied the constitutionality of measures which restrict the rights of citizens on account of race. There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.

    Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.
    [via Atrios]

    Criminal? Criminally delicious!

    Posted this to MeFi a few days ago. Crossposting here, ’cause I can.
    Article 98. From 1995 through 2000, the U.S. government supported the establishment of an International Criminal Court. In 2001, the Bush Administration ended US participation in ICC meetings and, on 6 May 2002, officially nullified the previous signature of the Rome Statute.
    Since then, the Bush administration has been actively pursuing agreements — with such human-rights aware nations as Kazakhstan, Bahrain, Botswana and Bhutan[pdf], and through coercion in the case of destitute Nauru — which would provide immunity for Americans in the ICC. Human Rights watch, amongst other organizations, is appalled. Echoing the sentiment of most who have not agreed to US demands, Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner of Austria (who has not signed an agreement on Article 98 with the US) spoke out in 2002 about the need for a common position. “There is a fundamental need for everyone to be open to prosecution. It is important that there is no immunity.”

    Sensible or sinister?
    You decide.

    Decline and Fall

    If you’re not reading Billmon already, you should be. He delivers another bang-on-target essay here.

    Something at the core of the American spirit has been corrupted — by wealth and power and the steady commercialization of just about everything. And we’re a nation divided, more so than at any time since the Civil War, split into mutually hostile camps, secular and religious, liberal and conservative, casually cosmopolitan and reflexively, if not rabidly, nationalist.
    So the war on terrorism has become just another skirmish in the war between the cultures. And the causes and consequences of failures — like 9/11 — get swept under the rug by the party in power, while the party out of power is either silenced by its own ineffectuality, or simply tries to score points of its own in the endless PR game.

    This, from that

    This

    All this captures, I think, the fundamental truth that we can never adequately understand a human performance as a product independent of the performer. However outwardly focused the performance may be, its essential meaning includes the self’s development through its own exertions. We express ourselves not only to achieve something “out there”, but also because something “in here” drives us to it, and in the expressing we strengthen and deepen our inner powers of expression. As Kass puts it, “our genuine happiness requires that there be little gap, if any, between the dancer and the dance”. And the same principle applies to our assessment of the achievements of others: we rightly value every human expression, from the pianist’s recital to the scholar’s text to the quarterback’s athletic artistry, not merely as an external product, but as part of the unfolding revelation of an expressing self. Therein lies its ultimate significance. Conversely, whatever does not arise from the expressing self is not fundamental. There are, in the end, no worthwhile “things” in the world; there are only worthwhile doings.

    from that via this made me think more about this. Which is good, I think.
    And yes, I have subscribed to his newsletter. Heh.

    Home on Deranged

    Item the First : Anne Craig is going through some surgery for cancer. I join Rageboy in encouraging you to send her a note of support. He says : ‘I have personally seen pure concentrated freak power save a life,’ and I say if you’re reading this weblog, you are a freak of some kind, clearly, and you’ve got to come to terms with that, damn it! Now let your freak flag fly and go do something constructive with the unholy power with which you’ve been blessed†.
    Item the Second : In lieu of reading any new rantings and ravings (rockings or rollings, babblings or banterings (somewhere between Bantu warrior and post-Bruce Banner hulk-smashology)) from yours truly, I offer you this tale of bitterness and disappointment and the inexorable deterioration of mental health from a new arrival to the ESL Mines Of Korea. It’s long, but well worth the read.
    Sad and a little horrible to watch it unfold – an old battle-scarred vet like me can predict most of the hammerfalls this poor guy endures – but hilarious nonetheless.
    Reminds me in many ways of my first six months here. It is in no way an exaggeration, I should note – if you’re thinking of coming to Korea to teach, and this gives you pause, well, good.
    Enjoy.
    †Well, OK, you don’t have to, but it would be a nice thing to do.
    Edit : Something’s gone goofy with comments on this post. I’m trying to track it down. Please do not adjust your set.
    Update : Fixed. Comment away!

    The Happy Rock

    A quote that I stumbled across today from Henry Miller, who helped me to see a few things a few decades ago, a quote that feels appropriate to circumstances about which I am reluctant to speak in detail quite yet, from Tropic of Capricorn :

    You are perpetually spending your energy in the act of balancing yourself. You are seized with a sort of spiritual vertigo, you totter on the brink, your hair stands on end, you can’t believe that beneath your feet lies an immeasurable abyss. It comes through a passionate desire to embrace people, to show them your love. The more you reach out toward the world the more the world retreats. Nobody wants real love, real hatred. Nobody wants you to put your hand in his sacred entrails — that’s only for the priest in the hour of sacrifice.
    While you live, while the blood’s still warm, you are to pretend that there is no such thing as blood and no such thing as a skeleton beneath the covering of the flesh. Keep off the grass! That’s the motto by which people live.
    If you continue this balancing at the edge of the abyss long enough you become very very adept: no matter which way you are pushed you always right yourself. Being in constant trim you develop a ferocious gaiety, an unnatural gaeity, I might say.
    There are only two peoples in the world today who understand the meaning of such a statement — the Jews and the Chinese. If it happens that you are neither of these you find yourself in a strange predicament. You are always laughing at the wrong moment; you are considered cruel and heartless when in reality you are only tough and durable. But if you would laugh when others laugh and weep when they weep you must be prepared to die as they die and live as they live. That means to be right and to get the worst of it at the same time. It means to be dead while you are alive and alive only when you are dead. In this company the world always wears a normal aspect, even under the most abnormal conditions. Nothing is right or wrong but thinking makes it so. You no longer believe in reality but in thinking. And when you are pushed off the dead end your thoughts go with you and they are of no use to you.

    This quote was one of my buddy Rick’s favorites, too.