What is up, home-boys (and home-girls)?
So finally, it is Friday. I was pretty swamped all week with homework and such, but hopefully this weekend will be slightly more relaxed. I do plan on staying productive this weekend, though. I have been writing a lot more, and I have some scholarship essays I need to get done, as well as a speech to finish and rehearse for my "Public Speaking" class. I have chosen "female genital mutilation" as my topic, because I don't think most people are specifically aware of that phenomenon. I think it's important for people to know what kind of suffering is going on in other parts of the world, if nothing else, just for perspective. I hope the subject matter isn't too much of a downer for the class.
I wanted to thank everyone who commented on my poetry from the last post. I have been writing a lot of poetry lately. Sharing poetry is always a nerve-wracking experience because I get so afraid that, you know, someone will point at me and laugh for trying to write poetry. So all of your kind words were awesome, and I was thrilled to see that different readers preferred different poems.
I am going to be kind of all over the place with this post, because it is Friday, and that is what Friday posts ought to be like. The first thing I need to do quick is put up the new "photo de la semaine." The following photo is one I took in my mother's backyard sometime last spring. I found it on my camera and thought it looked pretty awesome. Then I ran it through Photoshop and thought it looked even more awesome. So here it is:
My mom makes a mean flower. Or "grows," or whatever the term is. My mom reads this, so everyone tell her what you thought about her flowers.
Ok, next thing, I wanted to review a book for you real quick. In Review is supposed to have reviews, so here's one:
In Review: Disciple of the Dog
So, in the midst of reading the "Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy" book (see the "what I'm reading" section of the right sidebar) I was forced to pick up a couple of other books to maintain my sanity. I am still not finished with the Israel Lobby and I feel as though I have been reading it for years.
Anyway, in order to get through it, I had to pick up some lighter reading. One of the books I have read during the course of reading that fat book is Disciple of the Dog by R. Scott Bakker. First off, let me tell you that this review will be a spoiler. Let me also go ahead and tell you that, if you read this review and have any respect for my opinion at all, the fact that this review is a spoiler will not matter anyway.
This book was terrible. I mean to tell you that it has been years since I read something this bad. The plot centers around this farcically egocentric private detective who has, for some un-explained reason, the ability to remember everything that he experiences in his life with 100% accuracy. He can remember every word of every conversation he has ever had. He can recall crime scene details with super-human accuracy. And he has an accurate running count of the number of cigarettes he has smoked in his life (around 100,000).
The character is a ridiculous masculine nerd fetish stereotype. Some sort of hideous regurgitated seed-child of a Dungeons and Dragons player, a Kung Fu master, a Rain Man type savant, and a "cool" drugged out stoner hero. On top of all this, the author has written into his schoolgirl fantasy that the main character resembles "Brad Pitt." Could there be a more cliche, pathetic way to create a character that we can all hate?
The narrative of the book has us meeting exaggerated cultists and even more exaggerated neo-Nazi Christian Fundamentalists. The main character spends his time womanizing and smoking pot and, because of his Kung Fu skills and magical memory capacity, he is able to solve the case at the end of the day, by which time he has learned the hard lesson that he is getting old and that he ought to treat his stripper secretary right by taking her out on a date, as opposed to just nailin' it to her in the back room.
This book was shit. I hope the author never brings this character back. I guess it won't matter though because, unless Bakker wins a Pulitzer by some miracle of God, I will never ever read something he wrote again. I don't know what possessed me to buy this book.
Sadly, it was on the iPad, so I can't burn it, or use it for toilet paper.
(Last time I used the iPad for toilet paper, I really hurt myself.)
It took a team of physicians to fix this problem. Especially when they got distracted playing "Angry Birds."
I give this book half of a Charles Head. For anyone newer to the blog, remember that the Charles Head rating system is based on a .5 to 5 scale.
Normally I encourage people to read. But if you are going to read this, you might as well just sit down in front of Fox News for 24 hours straight. You will be losing the same amount of braincells, but at least you might get to see Glenn Beck cry. (Why that bastard is on a "news" channel is beyond me, even still.)
I would like to call attention to a blog that I like. It is an art-related blog, in that the entire point of the blog is visual art. The art is all by this tremendous guy named Blake Neubert. It is mostly pencil (or charcoal, maybe?) like this:
Anyway, Blake mentioned that he might draw something for the specific purpose of being posted here on In Review, which I think would be awesome. I think he might be more inclined to draw something for us if we went over and checked out his stuff. So you all should take a minute if you have it and visit his blog here: "If you like it, tell a friend... If you don't, tell an enemy."
His ability to draw is stunning and instills a sense of jealousy in every one of my fibers of being. Just had to let you guys know.
So The other day I got an e-mail from this home-boy claiming to be named "Luke Armstrong." Straight away, I was suspicious of this character, because he clearly had a fake name. I mean, what is that, a cross between Luke Skywalker and some kind of professional wrestler?
I imagine Mr. Armstrong looked like this, in the 80's, with his wife Miss Elizabeth.
So I said to myself: "self, just read the e-mail anyway. Anyone who would make up a name like "Luke Armstrong" is sure to at least inadvertently write hilarious e-mails due to his various pathologies."
I responded to myself: "ok! Fuck, calm down and I'll read the damn e-mail."
Then I muttered something under my breath to myself like: "you're a little bitch..."
From that point it was ON and I spent the rest of the afternoon performing Randy Savage moves on my bitch-ass self.
Next day, I got around to reading Luke's e-mail, and it turns out that Luke may, in fact, have been given his name by his parents, and that he is also very likely to be a humanitarian living in Guatemala working with a group called "Nuestros Ahijados," which he described as working to break the chains of poverty for their 12,000 dependents "through schools, clinics, sustainable micro-financing programs, social work, anti-human trafficking efforts, and other programs."
After hours of searching globes and atlases at the library, the librarian slapped me in the back of the head and said "it's the Google Maps, stupid," and helped me locate Antigua, Guatemala, where Luke works.
Now I truly felt like a jack-ass. I realized that Luke was real, and that he was actually doing something great for the world, and all I had really accomplished in the last three years of my life was to put myself into several wicked choke-holds the day before. Mr. Armstrong was sure makin' me look like Mr. Arm-pussy.
Luke directed me in the e-mail to a video that can probably explain what he does a little better than I can. Since I think what he does is, in all seriousness, really awesome and really... human... I will not make guessing out of this, but instead just link you to the video here. (Luke is the young gentleman toward the beginning of the clip, being interviewed by a personal hero of mine, Christiane Amanpour.)
I was floored when Luke informed me that he had enjoyed reading my blog when he found it via Google. I wondered if he had been habla-ing the espanol-ish for a little too much-o time-o. Perhaps he didn't even remember English well enough to accurately identify my blog as blathering drivel. Either way, he even sent me a copy of a book that he wrote (in PDF format) called (now this will throw you for a loop...) iPoems for the Dolphins to Click Home About. It is a book of poetry, and I have gotten a chance to look through some of it. I have to say that it is quite good. Some of it is light-hearted and good for a cheering up and a smile. Some of it is a little more real, and is clearly influenced by the work he does with malnourished children and other impoverished people every day. As such, some of the poetry is rather heartbreaking.
Anyway, I felt bad about thinking Luke was some kind of Jedi Roid-Freak, so I asked him if there was anything that I could do to help out with what he has invested so much of his life in. After some careful deliberation, I figured I would start out by paying for the book he sent me for free. I mean... it's only the right thing to do, right? And profits from the book go to charity.
Confirmation that I am not just lying like a sociopath like normal. Note the highlighted portions, the title of Luke's book, and the ridiculous shipping fees Amazon levied against me.
You can order the book too, here, if any of you feel like getting some inspiring, affordable poetry while simultaneously helping out a good cause. (Do it. Everyone else is. You can quit any time, I promise. I only do it for fun, on the weekends.)
I vow that once I get the book and finish it, I will write a super dry, tedious review of it, exploring several of the most prominent poems through the lens of an 80 year old literature teacher who thinks that Walt Whitman was a little "too racy."
Just thought I would share that with you guys.
Another(Other, Other) Thing:
Ok, everyone. Now I need your help. I need to take a poll here. I'll just hit you with the question right away, so that you can mill it over while I fill you in on the details.
Should I, or shouldn't I, attempt to pick a "blog-fight" with a female blogger from Singapore whose blog, I believe, is spreading a mental disease across the blogosphere?
Here's what I mean. (Sorry this post is so link heavy.)
The blog in question can be found here: http://xiaxue.blogspot.com/
Now, even though some of you may have already clicked the link, I just want to warn you that upon visiting this chick's blog, part of your soul crumbles in upon itself in a tremendous rush of human mediocrity and vacuous vanity. I ran across the blog bored the other day just surfing the ol' web-wave. As soon as I saw the main title, I felt my bowels loosen as my body prepared to die in an attempt to keep the damaged soul alive. I almost shat myself, I assure you of that. It was like I could hear my intestines start to quiver with madness and the heat of sweltering idiocy.
So, since I was bored, I decided to rag on this bitch a little bit. To be specific, I said the following:
Now, I don't know why I do these things. And before we go any further, no need for any of you to point out the typos I made in my comment on this sex-worker's blog. I was fairly certain that she wouldn't approve the comment, so I wasn't paying attention to keyboard accuracy. Sorrrrr-eeeeeee.
I really don't know why I do these things. I think a bulk of it is boredom. But a portion of it is that I actually do find stuff like this website frightening and/or threatening. Threatening to a decent way of life for humans in general. I see it as a vile, flacid, puss oozing lab grown penis-extension of the devil Hollywood machine that is doing its best to delete the minds of Americans and humans world-wide, to be more precise. But I don't want to get too serious on you here. I'll just say that ol' "Singapore" did decide to approve my comment, and in fact, to comment back. She said:
Hey honey...I don't want to go on and on here... I just want to know if you all think I should return to her blog and rip into her a little more? I don't know what the results would be. Presumably, she would just stop approving my comments. But if not, maybe we could get some pretty funny blog material out of this...
Go wank that angst out. Being all condescending and snide when you have nothing to show for it just shows how hard you are trying to compensate for how much of a loser you are.
Saw your blog. Wow..... If this is what you consider a good blog, then no wonder mine gets so many awards. Your poems stink. Drowned in green? Sure sounds like envy.
Or maybe she is right, and I am just a snide little prick who needs to "wank it out."
But I could have sworn I was wankin' enough already...
Doctor said I was going to go blind...
I haven't been able to wank once since I saw this plastic-sick-whore's blog, I will tell you that.
At least I know that the people reading my blog are firing on more than fifty braincells. You guys are my heros. Especially Luke "Skywalker" Armstrong. So tell me what to do here.