Election 2008 is four long years away, but that hasn't stopped the "invisible primary" of potential candidates for President putting out feelers in the media. Worried that the country would experience a void of puritanical moralizing after Bush steps down, Rick Santorum is considering a run at the top office.

The man's desire to be President has never been a secret; in fact it is rare for a politician to so openly pine for an office higher than the one they hold, as Santorum has done. For those of you who aren't familiar with Ricky, he is a sweaty, condescending cum dumpster for the wacky part of the religious right. Not the part that's just really Christian….the Bob Jones crowd. Santorum describes himself as a "champion of traditional marriage" (read: homophobic reactionary, deeply in the closet). Suffice it to say that if the support of ultra-conservative religious loonies were a penis, he would unhinge his jaw like a snake and fellate it like the lifeblood of his political career that it is.

The suit says "Trust" and the smile says "Please don't browse the jpegs on my hard drive"

But here's the kicker. He's now under fire from his fascist network of supporters for not leading the charge against fellow Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Specter in his quest for the Judiciary Committee chair. That's right, read the article carefully. I know it's a little shocking at first, but the words really do say "Santorum would like to become the president of the United States, but he alienated a lot of pro-family, pro-life people when he came to Specter's aid over Toomey, who is a strong pro-life man…,"

Live by the sword, die by the sword, I suppose. When someone garners support from the most deeply insane portions of the electorate, it can come as no surprise (nor can it evoke sympathy) when things backfire. How long could Santorum expect to be the standard-bearer of the insane without them turning on him?

So welcome to America, the nation in which Rick "My Uncle Touched Me and Now I'm Going to Take It Out on You, Gay America" Santorum is not sufficiently conservative.


The latest edition in the "This Should Be God-Awful but God Damn is it Fabulous" category, which has been sort of a year-long theme for me, is the new Helmet album Size Matters.

I put off the purchase of this album out of fear that it would be anywhere near as bad as the last Helmet album prior to their breakup. For those of you who don't recall, which I assume includes everyone except for the band members and their mothers, Helmet put out a post-Betty album entitled Aftertaste. Had the band been sentenced to death for this album, no jury would have intervened on their behalf. It is the sort of album that makes one weep for the human condition and rue the day that some people discovered drop-D tuning and the pudding-like bottom end of a cheap solid-state amp.

Page Hamilton circa….back when they were good

In short, then, it was with great trepidation that I purchased this music. Suffice it to say that those who suspected that Page Hamilton spent the last few post-Helmet years gaining weight or developing a drug habit were quite wrong. He actually spent that time becoming more awesome.

I am not going to sit here and tell you that this is a "terrific album" in the sense that if you're not already inclined to like Helmet a little, it will not convert you. Then again, if you aren't already inclined to like Helmet a little you are very, very gay, in which case you should be reading this site instead of

Do yourself the favor of at least engaging in enough piracy to try out "Everybody Loves You" from your friends on Soulseek. If that doesn't work for you, then don't waste your money on the album. But before you send the track to your recycle bin, double-check to make sure you still have a pulse and, if you are male, balls.

Ol' Dirty Bastard – A Life. Part One: The Poster, In Heaven

I'm so sorry that this is a week late. Seasonal issues, computer breakdown, work deadlines and (of course) Half-life 2 all contributed to keep this eulogy from being on time.

First Off: Visit the ODB 1998 Timeline if you haven't already. Second: This won't be an obituary – this will simply be several stories throughout the next day or two as to why we love Ol' Dirty the way we do. If you don't get it after this week, you never will.

As many of you are fellow office workers waiting it out until the holiday (is everyone's office as dead as mine?) these will run long with many multi-media links to keep you entertained, and will be updated through Wednesday. Enjoy.

The Poster

For Christmas several years ago Ed got me a Ol’ Dirty Bastard "N***a Please" poster. He was a little disappointed that, as a result of keeping it in his trunk during the winter, it had gotten a little water damaged from the snow. I said that it was fine; a water-damaged ODB poster is far superior to a mint poster.

I immediately took it to the prestigious frame show in the ghetto Urbana Lincoln Square Mall. The little old lady who ran the place usually worked with a different type of customer. I walked up to the counter and asked for their gaudiest, cheapest frame that they had. Sure enough, she was able to pick out the perfect one, which hangs on my wall to this day:

While trying to convince me on the merits of this specific cheap gaudy frame, she noted that this one would be a good one because, and I'll never forget this quote, “it will bring out the gold in his jumpsuit.” And damn if she wasn’t right.

She also noted that the poster was water-damaged. I wanted to make up an elaborate story about how it was an old family heirloom that was damaged during the Civil War, but I just said "oh yes, I know" to the poor old lady.

In Heaven

While discussing with some friends Ol' Dirty's chances of making into a Christian Heaven, I proposed that he has a pretty good chance of making it. Why? With the dozens of illegitimate children he has fathered, he can claim that he has followed the Pope's doctrine against using contraceptives throughout his life. It's as good of a chance as the man is going to have to get in there.


After many failed attempts to land the Shroud of Turin, eBay is listing a grilled cheese sandwich containing an image of the Virgin Mary.

I'll let that sink in. Here.

This is nothing compared to my Hot Pocket on which Menachem Begin has appeared

eBay has banned this listing repeatedly, but has finally allowed it under close supervision. Now that bidding has crossed $15,000,000 I suspect they will cancel it soon.

"And the Lord said unto Peter, 'I shall send a sign of My love when thine Kraft Singles are betwixt Wonder Bread and slathered with the fruit of the Parkay tree." Revelations 12: 13-15.

erik's amendment
I respect your opinions and beliefs, but really, don't you see the similarity

If we weren't to talk about Comic Books and Local H, it would be like the terrorists have already won.

It's important to not forget the important things in life with all the post-election depression: gin, tacos, and the following. Several links to cheer up your wednesday:

  • Chicago Tribune's Advice Column has a letter come in explaining to women that comic book stores are excellent places to meet guys, as it's audience is 95% men. The letter, which claims to be written by a women, seems written by a guy.

    I really love the idea of a Comic Shop on a New Comics Wednesday (which, if you haven't been, isn't all that inviting to women) suddenly having several women in bar clothes and heels walk in and try to strike up a conversation. "I'd like to buy the lady over there her choice of a Drawn and Quarterly comic."

  • Audio from Local H as Oasis for Halloween – you need a special audio decoder to listen. It's, ummm, interesting, in that it's 2am and Scott Lucas is performing in a drunken sort of way (read: a good way). They cover Cum On Feel the Noise (they spell it that way, not me) as Oasis covering it, which one of our intrepid fans noted she had once seen as b-side to an Oasis single.

    There happens to be a large number of live Local H recordings at that webpage.

  • In case you need more snark in your weekly on-line diet, David Foster Wallace reviews a Borges biography, and Johnathan Frazen reads from his so-so latest collection of New Yorker stories. Take that red states!

    Wallace, of course, uses endnotes in his review. Though it seems to piss off a great deal of people with it's "look-at-me-i'm-david-foster-wallace-reviewing-a-book"-ness, it really didn't offend me as much as it seems oddly appropriate for Borges and the article itself is a top-notch review and overview. It is a bitch to read on-line with the page 1,2,3 format – click on printer-ready format for an easier read.

  • A history of the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys series alongside its creator. One of the more interesting non-political things in the NYer lately. Did anyone else grow up reading the series where Joe's girlfriend Lola is blown up in a car bomb in the first book? I always thought that was really messed up.


  • The war on birth control has never been more asinine.

    Here's an AP article that should make you angry. Evidently several anti-birth control pharmacists are refusing to dispense out birth control pill prescriptions based on personal moral grounds. Mind you it will often take a women at least a full-day to get the mess sorted out, in which case she may miss one of her pills. What's worse, state governments are moving to protect these actions:

    Mississippi enacted a sweeping statute that went into effect in July that allows health care providers, including pharmacists, to not participate in procedures that go against their conscience. South Dakota and Arkansas already had laws that protect a pharmacist's right to refuse to dispense medicines. Ten other states considered similar bills this year.

    Listen. A quick word for the pharmacists out there: We understand that this is a major issue for you, in which dozens of academic articles about your integrity and professional responsibility and everything else will provide fodder for your discussions. Let me give you's (and by us, I mean everyone who isn't a pharmacist) opinion: we don't care what you think. You have about as much say in our moral lives as the waiter at the Olive Garden. To us you are the person at the dry cleaner's with an advanced degree – we show up, hand you a sheet of paper, and you get us our product. That's it.

    If you wanted to advise people on their health decisions and options, you should have studied harder and gone to med school. If you hate the idea of people using birth control picket a Planned Parenthood in your free time. But when you are behind that counter, you are a service-industry worker, and you better do whatever the customer tells you.

    There are dozens of policemen, prosecutors and judges who object to The War on Drugs, but they don't refuse to arrest people or put them in jail because of their personal beliefs. Nobody is paying you the $$$ that pharmacists make to give you a soapbox – they are paying you to do your job and you should be fired for not doing it. I hate to tell you this (no wait, I love to tell you this), but birth control is perfectly legal in this country, and it is your job to dispense it. Find another one if you had an objection to it. You are not the first people to realize you could object to the parts of a job you don't like by doing a half-assed job (that would be the employees of the White Castle in Chicago Ridge, circa 1957).

    To state governments – you are lawyers; again if you wanted to be doctors you should have studied harder. If you want to pass laws against birth control by all means try – but don't sneak measures forcing the health care industry to do, or not do, whatever you want. Doctors are professionals; if they say that birth control is an appropriate medical solution for the patient's situation it is the job of other doctors, and distinctly not the job of state congressmen and pharmacists, to object. Not the only website getting more hits since Nov 2nd.

    It seems that since November 2nd, that Canada's main immigration website had recieved nearly 5 times as many hits from the United States as is typical.

    When I first heard this I naturally assumed that NetZero's "Candidate Zero" advertising compain had really paid off. Really, what other explaination could there possibly be for both Ginandtacos and the Canadian immigration website to get an increase in hits? We have nothing in common… or do we?

    No, upon reading the article it became clear that no, 5 times as many people did not obtain internet access in the United States in the last week. This is just another pathetic example of distraught democrats thinking about expatriation.

    It is kind of sad really. Over 100,000 people decided they wanted to look into moving to Canada. Yes, you know, because its better there. What with the not having George Bush and all.

    I have one question for all of you potential expatriates. Is Canada really the best you can do? would like to offer some alternatives

    First of all lets look at all the old European standbys.

    Follow in Ernest Hemmingway's footsteps, move to France!

    French Embassy in the United States

    I am not going to lie to you. Getting a visa for a long stay and employment in France is one of the hardest you are going to find. Of course, and this is going to apply to any country you go to the more educated (beyond just a bachelor's degree) you are, or the more specialized your skill set, the better your chances. Considering the fact that all of us liberals are highly educated intellectuals we should have no problem….right? More to the point, French immigration gives special consideration to scientists and scholars looking to work in higher education.

    That said, think of the rewards! If true America hating is your passion, there is no better recourse than moving to france. Honestly though, the country has an expectionally relevant green and socialist party (former prime minister Lionel Jospin for example). They are a country with legalized civil unions, and get this…a 35 hour work week. Good times.

    Add on to this a passion for food, wine, and cycling and you have yourself a far superior option to Canada.

    So maybe you are afraid to learn a new language. Try this, move to the UK.

    Although the UK may outwardly seem like the are allied with Mr. Bush, that is really quite far from the truth. If you have any doubt, look here. Truth is, far fewer of them support all these aburd goings on that our goverments have been conspiring on than we do.

    On the downside, their food sucks, it is generally cold and rainy, and you would need to learn the rules to Cricket.

    However, there are some positives. Even when preaching the same insane rhetoric is George Bush, for some reason Tony Blair left me with less of a feeling of impending doom. Oh, and let us not forget that their beer is pretty damn good and, to aid in its consumption, they have a far more liberal definition of the term "alcoholic" over there.

    From the research that I have done, it looks like you might actually have a chance of getting in as well. They have a new "points based system" for highly skilled labor and another system, sector based, system that allows working into specific sectors where a need has arisen. Looks like a pretty good option to me. Plus, I kind of like British food.

    Looking for something More exotic?

    Try immigrating to New Zealand.


    New Zealand Immigration

    This would not have been my first choice, but hey, its good enough for Peter Jackson. They are pretty fucking close to Australia, speak English, make some fantastic wine, and word on the street is that they have already gotten 10,000 new visa aplications from americans since November 2nd. Who knows? New Zealand might be the new mecca for American expatriats.

    But don't be limited by what you see here, the sky is the limit. What about Argentina, Morroco or Mongolia… East Timor. All of these might prove better options then living another 4 years with George Bush.

    Oh, but remember to come back or cast an absentee ballot in 2006.

    We've been here before.

    With some time to cool down and reflect, here are my humble thoughts on the events of this election. First off, I take some solace that we are not the first Americans to deal with the red state-blue state divide. From John Updike’s introduction to this collection:

    The [American literature of the] 1920s…are a decade with a distinct personality…the urban minority of Americans that produced most of the writing felt superior, if not hostile, to what H.L. Hencken called the “booboisie”, whose votes had brought on Prohibition, puritanical censorship, the Scopes Trial, and Calvin Coolidge.

    How little has changed! Here we are, 80 years later, watching counties with cities go blue and the rural/exurbs go red, trying to convince people that we shouldn't be teaching Creationism in a science classroom!

    It’s also important to remember that this isn't the second time this trick was pulled. The only campaign platform I can think of that is more outright cynical in it's manipulating people's values, fears and concerns was Nixon's "Law and Order" platform. "Law and Order'! Like "moral values", it's a nice way to convince white people that their way of life is under seige and only the Republican party can save them.

    As Kerry was a prosecutor and Bush was elected in Texas on a platform of capital punishment and throwing teenagers in prison, I was surprised during the debates to not see any of the normal bullshit posturing of who is the most tough on crime. Little did I know that it was probably because the Bush team found a new urban minority population to terrorize suburban and rural (and sadly, increasing numbers of blacks and latinos) with.

    Now do the numbers bear this out? We’ve had some time to crunch number and find new data, and by far Kerry’s biggest hit was among working class white people (where they are defined by white adults who do not have a four year degree from college). Clinton carried this group during his terms; Gore lost ground in 2000, the Democrats lost even more in 2002, and it looks like they all went rushing to the right in 2004.

    The thing that really carried this group for Bush, I believe, is that the term ‘moral issues’ was not only gay marriage and abortion. These issues were major parts of energizing the base, but for Bush everything is a moral issue. Why reduce capital gains taxes? Because it is wrong to tax income twice. That simple. Is it good for the economy? Bad? It doesn’t matter – it’s a wrong thing to do.

    Kerry is a legislator. I thought he ran a good campaign and was right on many issues, but at the end of the day he proposed what he did because he thought that they were good policy. His ideas weren't values as much as they were tools to create good policy (How un-French is that!) – Why did he want to roll back the capital gain taxes? To fund dock searches. In other words: to enact policy. The idea that it is Right or Wrong in and of itself, a notion crucial to the working-class vote, is never conveyed.

    Question: Who was the only person to say that we should roll back the capital gains tax cut because it was the right thing to do? Bill Clinton, during the DNC convention.

    From now on, no more Senators running for office. Democrats need people who will talk about their beliefs in social justice as the most important personal thing they feel, and not just a series of good policy measures. This may not help, but it's the best hope we have. No matter what we will continue to watch the burden of funding our country falling upon work instead of wealth. Americans who depend on wages to survive (ie most of us) are getting screwed, and this is one of the most moral of issues we face. Here’s hoping that the Democrats can find someone to explain that to the people.


    As the media have redundantly battered into our minds for the past 24 hours, polling suggests that Bush won on the support of a lot of people who considered "moral issues" to be the decisive factor in this election. In other words, gay marriage and abortion were issues that trumped the war, terrorism, and the economy for these voters. Additionally, we can assume that the GOP's traditional "low taxes at all costs" voters were present as well.

    Let me be uncharacteristically blunt. If you are a single-issue voter willing to overlook everything and anything in order to take a position on gay marriage, you deserve to die. Slowly, painfully, and in front of your little hateful children who will grow up to be every bit the reactionary asshole you are today.

    "Gee Ed, isn't that a little harsh? They're entitled to their opinion."

    Interesting. Fuck you.

    These voters are stating, in essence, that they believe it is morally acceptable to do whatever they want regardless of the consequences to others. Why assume that the repercussions will fall on other people and not the voter? Because they would vote differently were this not the case. Think about it.

    These votes come from the suburbs (tax cuts) and rural areas (abortion, gay marriage). Can you think of two places more insulated from the regressive economic and international policies of this administration? Look at the decision-making process of a suburban voter. The war? Who cares. Junior's in an expensive private school, and that ACT tutor is gonna make sure he gets into a 4th-rate college with two directional adjectives in its name. The economy? Come on, daddy's the person who does the outsourcing, not the one who gets outsourced. Terrorism? Those attacks happen in big cities. Cuts to government programs? Well that's just more urban poor to shuttle into the army. Or prison. Need more of those.

    This kind of decision can only be made by voters so insulated from the consequences of their actions and so unconcerned about others who may be impacted that even the worst hatred in the world is insufficient to describe the appropriate feeling society should have for them. So welcome to No Sympathy Night (God bless you Bill)

    I hope your children are drafted, sent to Iraq, and returned home in pieces.

    I hope your daughters who grow up without sex education in school get knocked up at 16 and/or turn into sullen, frigid, pill-popping shrews who while the days away with wine, the Oxygen network, romance novels, and desperate fantasizing about what their lives could be like had they not sold their souls for a three-car garage and a loveless, Viagra-dependent marriage.

    I hope your job is the next to go. I hope you end up working the most degrading job imaginable for a wage so low that it won't allow you to maintain your meaningless, consumptive, debt-based lifestyle for a month. I want to be present when you tell your kids that the fancy home and cars have to go. I want your marriage to crumble in the absence of the money that kept it together.

    I want the people devastated by cuts in social programs to wait behind a tree and slit your throat for a few bucks rather than commit crimes against some person in circumstances as dire as theirs.

    Is this harsh? Only if you define the term with a vested interest in assuaging your conscience. It's nothing but fair to say that these things, which are already happening across this nation, are instead suffered by the people whose myopic, indescribably self-centered voting behavior is the cause.

    If you're one of these voters, fuck you. If this is America, fuck America too. These people would vote for Hitler if he said he'd cut taxes and outlaw gay marriages, and in light of that I see nothing wrong with them that couldn't be solved by a bullet in the head.