Friday, October 28, 2011

10/28/11 - This Week in Head Explode

Kill Em All

October 22, 2011 at 5:08 AM

Kill 'Em All and Let God Sort 'Em Out


Look, I enjoy killing as much as the next guy. Not one but two of my favorite movies are actually called The Killers–the great original film noir, based on a Hemingway story, and Don Siegal's '60s remake, featuring Ronald Reagan as a vicious crime boss who slaps the hell out of Angie Dickinson–and which opens with Lee Marvin executing a blind man in cold blood. I'm an American, and as D.H. Lawrence said, "The essential American soul is cold, isolate, stoic, and a killer." We may have lost most of the stoicism, but if anything we've grown colder and more isolated since Lawrence's day–and when it comes to killing? Count us in!

But the killing that presses our aesthetic pleasure-buttons, in movies and books, is mostly the raw, spontaneous kind. When murder becomes a primary instrument of foreign policy, to be casually plotted in public by the likes of Hillary Clinton and Wolf Blitzer, it takes all the fun out of it. And to hear Barack Obama say, as he's done ad nauseum, that Bin Laden, Khaddafy, and countless others should be "killed or captured"–nod, wink, repeat–is truly bizarre: the professor as mob boss, Jimmy Stewart in the James Cagney role.

Blitzer started casually discussing the merits of the U.S. murdering Khaddafy a few months back, and I found that bizarre as well–if only because we'd already murdered the guy's baby daughter, and even the mob frowns on infanticide. But then again, Blitzer is, in his pathetic way, an insider, and he knows what our government knows: in the oldest of mob-movie cliches, "dead men tell no tales." Like Obama and Bush, he doesn't want to see Khaddafy in a witness chair. So he morphs from Wolf Blitzer, ultimate nerd, to Wolf Blitzer, cold-eyed killer.

Instead of wearing their sedate, I'm-important suits, they should all be sporting those nitwit T-shirts that say "Kill 'Em All And Let God Sort 'Em Out." Because that phrase has gone from a Soldier of Fortune boast to official U.S. policy.

By drone, by bomb, by bullet. By soldier, by contractor, by proxy. The guilty and the innocent. With "bi-partisan" support. From Lumumba to Allende to today's news-flash, the blood-trail grows longer and darker.

One of the survivors of the Warsaw ghetto under the Nazis made a point I have never forgotten. She knew they were killing Jews in secret every night: everyone knew it. But one morning she woke up and saw Jews hanging from lamp-posts in the street. And what terrified her, she said–what made her realize that the end was truly near–was that "they weren't even bothering to hide it any more."

In the old days–like the mob–at least we tried to hide our political murders. What does it say about this cold and isolated country, in the 21st century, that now we celebrate them?

John Eskow is a writer and musician. He wrote or co-wrote the movies Air America, The Mask of Zorro, and Pink Cadillac, as well as the novel Smokestack Lightning.
A Fellow Named Ray and a Cat Named Matt

October 21, 2011 at 2:59 PM

So, at the beginning of October, I took a weekend trip to Philly to see Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs, and then Matt Nathanson the next night.

Ray was a solid show. Nice crowd, amazing atmosphere. Sexy raspy voice. Ray dresses like he's Amish, but I think that's just because he's trying too hard to be cool by being anti-fashion. He really draws you into his songs, and it's reminiscent of the the time I saw M. Ward in concert. It's just hypnotizing and relaxing.

Matt Nathanson's show was fantastic. Matt's shows are always part music, part comedy. He's just got this quirky, humble attitude. He's not trying too hard to fit into the industry, he just is who he is, and I like that. His Celine Dion impression left everyone bursting with laughter. He and his guitarist rocked a Simon and Garfunkel cover. They did their own rendition of "Blister in the Sun." Matt's songs are much different from his original singer/songwriter style back in the day, but I don't think it's in a bad way. His songs are tighter, some of them more radio-friendly, yet I don't ever feel like they're lacking substance or musicality, and I like his experimentation with other styles and the addition of songs with some guest singers.

After the show, he stayed over 2 hrs while people waited in line to meet him and take pictures and stuff. I had met him once before, and when I told him it was back in 2004, he was taken aback. "Whoa, 2004? Really?" He signed my poster which he said was awesome because, "It glows in the fucking dark." and told me the first girl he ever made out with was named Alyssa. How does a gal respond to that? Hot damn.

We were one of the last ones at the venue, it was raining, and everyone had stolen all the cabs, so we popped into the only bar in the area, right next to the venue to have a drink while waiting on a cab to make its way across town. It was there that we met Matt's band, as well as Vanessa Carlton's violinist (Vanessa was Matt's opening act). They were super sweethearts. At one point I may have called the adorable Jewish keyboardist an anti-Semite and threatened to take his job as Matt's keyboardist.

Anyway, 'twas good times.
Favorite Snacks?

October 21, 2011 at 2:41 PM

What are your favorite things to eat when you get a snack attack?

I love Gala apples with some natural PB.
Weekend Shenanigoats?

October 21, 2011 at 2:39 PM

What's on tap for this weekend y'all? I was supposed to be hanging out all weekend with the legendary Saison, but we had to cancel because our lives got busy. Very "suckish" as the kids say.

I just got promoted to crew chief/manager of my project. Quite the honor in our company, since there aren't a lot of lasses who get promoted as such, and definitely not as young as I am. I didn't even sleep with anyone! I just worked hard and stuff! What a world! Only bad thing is that I'm starting to not like my job as much. Too many spreadsheets, too many phone calls, so little sleep.

Tonight I'm going to go to dinner, relax, have a drink, and listen to a band that's playing in town.

I think tomorrow I'm going to chop, split, and stack wood for the winter.

I also have to get a few things for my Halloween costume.

And since it's supposed to be kind of sunny and 60 degrees, I'm sure a walk or two will be in order.

Someone's weekend has to be more interesting than mine. So, do tell.

McDonald's Employee and Convicted Killer Beats Women with Metal Rod

October 26, 2011 at 12:14 PM

I'm sure by now you've all gotten wind of this but nonetheless, here's a link to some decent coverage.

In a scary confrontation filmed by a diner, a cashier at a McDonald's in Manhattan can be seen beating two female customers with a metal rod after the duo jumped the counter during a dispute early yesterday morning.

As seen in the above video, Rayon McIntosh, 31, repeatedly struck the women while they were on the ground behind the counter at the McDonald's, which is across from the famed West 4th Street basketball courts in Greenwich Village.

According to a felony criminal complaint filed against McIntosh, one woman suffered a "fractured skull requiring surgery" and a broken bone in her arm during the assault. The second woman suffered "substantial pain and a laceration," the complaint notes.

McIntosh is facing two felony assault counts and a criminal possession of a weapon charge. The women, who hurtled the counter during a dispute over their food order, have been hit with menacing, disorderly conduct, and trespass counts. One woman can be seen on the video slapping McIntosh in the face.

Watch the video in the article above if you get the chance. It's pretty clear they physically attacked him first and he was acting in self defense. But does that make it okay? I'd say he went way, way too far. Nonetheless, I have no sympathy for those women whatsoever. None. They shouted insults at him and slapped him just for doing his job. Then they jumped over the counter intent on doing further harm. Looks like they picked the wrong dude to fuck with. Karma's a bitch.

I need to stop following the news. bleh It feels like I'm cheating on my mental diet.

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