Jun 24, 2011

It's all about state's rights!

I've written numerous times about my feelings concerning state funds being used to honor the Confederacy, but apparently the issue is being brought up again in my new home state of Texas. The Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has designed a license plate that displays the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia, or as some will recall, the Confederate Naval Jack. Their purpose is to honor those in the Lone Star State who fought against the Union in the Civil War, aka War Between the States. Why they didn't choose the Confederate National Flag is a mystery to me as it would make more logical sense, but admittedly the former is more recognizable. Not surprisingly controversy has ensued.

When I emailed the Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans and asked if Texan troops actually used the Stars and Bars in battle I didn't get a response. I imagine the answer is yes, but I can find nothing to support that so far. It may be of little matter.

America is interesting in the fact that it's the only nation I can think of that honors those who have committed treason, fought against the then current government, lost, and are suddenly revered as heroes. This is why I don't really see this license plate as an issue of race, although I understand why some would. What other country gives so much praise to a people who rebelled and threw their respective nation into their bloodiest conflict? I somewhat get the lost cause mentality as we don't want to think of our forefathers as dying for something as simple as state's rights to own and distribute slaves and the US always loves an underdog, but we must face the facts. The Confederacy seceded because of human bondage at their own admission, from their secession letters to Congress, statements made by most of their governors, and even their Vice President confirmed this during and after the war. While the Dixiecrats made it popular to romanticize the south and give the image that the antebellum lifestyle was exactly like Gone With the Wind, history does paint a different picture than pop culture. I would like to think that the average Confederate soldier may have fought for noble reasons of their own, but that can be said of any army.

Given that if someone wants to wave the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia I don't really care. It's their right to fly any flag at their own expense, but to use tax payer funds to display a symbol that was used in battle to fight against the people defending the Constitution and preserving the Union, well I still can't wrap my head around it. I consider myself a Civil War buff as I agree with Shelby Foote that if someone really wants to understand the character of this country there's no better period in history to study. Still in all my amateur efforts I don't exactly get the lost cause mentality, or maybe I understand it better than I realize.

"I hope the day will never come that my grandsons will be ashamed to own that I was a Confederate Soldier." - Private A. Y. Handy, 32nd Texas Cavalry, C.S.A

Texas Officials Consider Confederate Flag License Plate

Jun 23, 2011

Thursday Music

The first trailer for the remake of 'Footloose' has been unleashed on the public and many of my generation are crying fowl. With the furious passion of Star Wars fans many are claiming that their childhood has been robbed and somehow feel this new movie will take away their enjoyment of the previous one. It's not like anyone's holding a gun to their head to see this one, but I'm sure curiosity will get the better of most.

I never did see the remake of "The Karate Kid", because I thought it looked stupid, especially given the fact that karate was never used in the plot. I have fond memories of the first one, but will admit it's not exactly high brow cinema. I casted my vote against the modern retelling by simply not buying a ticket for it. Imagine that.

The original "Footloose" is not a good movie. There I said it. In fact, it's pretty stupid. From the cheesy soundtrack to the almost cartoonish portrayal of small town America, the Kevin Bacon vehicle is a forgettable film for most. And while I understand people wanting to keep childhood memories as they once were, to bitch about this unnecessary remake is pointless. Actually, if they remade "Rad" I'd go see it, but as I'm guessing as with the new "Footloose" it'll do little but remind me of how incredibly flawed the original is.

Granted I do have some fond memories of watching "Footloose", but it's not because of the film itself. Most bad movies of yesteryear have a tendency to make us recall the good points of our past as well as help us forget the lower ones.

So today I bring you one of the cheesiest montage sequences in cinema history:

"Any idiot can get laid when they're famous. That's easy. It's getting laid when you're not famous that takes some talent." - Kevin Bacon

Jun 21, 2011

In defense of Canucks

I've visited Vancouver many times in my youth and have always considered it a beautiful and diverse city. In my times clubbing, concert going, shopping, eating, drinking heavily, or just wandering aimlessly I enjoyed being a tourist in a place that offered so much. My friends and I always thought highly of the largest city in British Columbia.

Given the nonsense associated with the riots, many across Canada and the US have formed an unfavorable opinion about Vancouver. While understandable given that they had unrest back in 94 as well, I fail to see how the actions of those few should be a reflection on the entire population. Granted the media only chooses the most sensationalized aspects of the story, which of course the populous wants to hear, but I hate the fact that a few stupid teenagers, who may or may not live in the area, are somehow the standard for judging the community.

I can't speak to how well or poorly the city handled the situation as I wasn't there, but from what I've read the cops and emergency response teams showed the utmost professionalism.

I've seen other media outlets rage against the mainstream as they psychoanalyze riot mentality and attempt to educate us in things we already know, which is pretentious as all hell. We're smart people. We know the ingredients for spoiled people engaging in civil unrest and therefore don't need anyone to remind us why this happened.

What I don't read about is people who have visited Vancouver and can attest to how wonderful the city and it's citizenry can be. Again, as someone who once frequented the area I feel the recent riot in no way changes my opinion on it. In fact, the way the populous has responded to cleaning up the mess has proven to me that many good people reside there.

"Americans know as much about Canada as straight people do about gays. Americans arrive at the border with skis in July, and straight people think that being gay is just a phase. A very long phase." - Scott Thompson

Jun 20, 2011

Wiwille plugs.

My friend Ryon is an avid film buff and starving director. He's made various films, the first of which I starred in, but lately he's stepping up his game and making a project that I think will speak to many, a documentary about dating in Seattle.

Ryon has recently released a trailer for it and it does showcase his talent at being a crew of one. While he abandoned fiction for the sake of a documenting the tales of the love lorn in the Northwest we see his talents shine in this preview. Your author here actually had a small part in the production as I wrote a few of the interview questions for the singles. As I was the first time he asked me to be a part of his freshman effort I can honestly say I'm very proud to be even a tiny part of making his vision a reality.

He's also soliciting funds to continue in post-production, so if you're interested in having your name attached to this documentary, visit his website here.

"So far it’s been pretty much me running the show and I've made the commitment to do it this way because I am also Single in Seattle, though I would rather not be. It has been a challenge." - Ryon Ownbey

Jun 17, 2011

Thursday Music on a Friday

For reasons unbeknownst to me, whenever I hear Irish music I want to punch a German in the face. I have nothing against the humorless bastards that are from Deutschland. I've been to their country and enjoyed myself immensely. You would think the music of the Celts would steer my wrath towards the Italians, or even the British, but no.

Actually the music makes me want to drink. Not that I need an excuse to crave a tall pint of stout, but whenever I hear the bow hitting the violin at a rapid pace I want to raise a glass of craft beer and stomp my feet in manners that are very immature. Perhaps my heritage does hail from the small island after all. It would explain my love for beer and whiskey, not that all Irish are a bunch of drunks who smell like farm animals....stop laughing.

Today I need a beer, or six, so today dear readers I will share some Irish-centric music from a band heralding from my new home state:

"I'm Irish. I think about death all the time." - Jack Nicholson

Jun 16, 2011

With pride I read.

After Friday's sonogram I was naturally excited about the results as everything appeared normal and only one fetus was present. After I drove home from work I had the idea to stop by Half Price Books to get some reading material for our yet to be birthed child. Like a light shining down from heaven I saw a section set aside for Little Golden Books.

I'm sure many remember the Little Golden Books and all their wonderment. My sister and I were big fans in our youth and read them over and over again. I browse through the titles and find the Holy Grail; Sesame Street's 'The Monster at the End of This Book'.

For those unfamiliar, 'The Monster at the End of This Book' is a simple tale with only one character in the entire story, Grover. Grover tells the reader that there is indeed a monster at the end of the book and pleads with the reader to not turn the page for fear that some unsightly creature may be released and wreak havoc on him and humanity. The reader of course turns the page, as they are want to do, and the Sesame Street character throws tantrums and starts using creative ways to keep someone from flipping through the book.

I won't give away the ending, because I know all of you are very excited to find out for yourself what happens.

This book being a favorite of mine made me feel like Indiana Jones when I came across it. I dreamt of all the times I would read it to my child and in my head I mocked the voice of Grover. My baby would be subject to high brow literature as only their Dad would provide.

Oh man it's starting. I'm becoming a father....

"I really learned the power of the tube on Sesame Street and how it can influence a very young mind." - Ruth Buzzi

Jun 14, 2011


Living in suburbia for even such a short time has been eye opening. Our community has their own forum website where home owners can and do post on a variety of topics ranging from business reviews, soliciting advice on home repairs, crime statistics, etc. Some are interesting and can often be useful, others are just posts about needless things to bitch about.

I often browse the forums to find topics that relate to me and find the chatter to be amusing. Sadly most of it is a bitch fest about activities of their neighbors. A few use the forums to whine about people parking in the street, garbage cans that aren't moved into the garage, and even claim that basketball hoops are an equal eyesore. While this doesn't seem surprising the amount of passion that stems from these often creative posts is stunning.

Now some have legit concerns, but mainly they think cars are just an eyesore. Yes, vehicles parked on the street are considered not only unpleasing to the eye, but some go so far as being a safety hazard to children as drivers can't see them dart from behind a car into the street. Never mind that parents shouldn't let their crotch fruit do these things, but I feel like I'm living amongst a bunch of 30 somethings going on 70.

Now I want a clean and prosperous place to live and that's why my wife and I chose this community, but I'm afraid I'm going to turn into even a grumpier version of my father if I stay in the suburbs. Soon I'll be yelling at skaters, god help me.

"Slums may well be breeding grounds of crime, but middle class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium." - Cyril Connolly

Jun 13, 2011

Robble robble

I awake from my slumber last night to my wife tapping me on the arm.

"Honey," she said with a hint of panic in her voice. "The alarm's going off. Someone is in the HOUSE!"

Actually the alarm system was counting down as if someone entered the home, so no sirens or such were blaring. I crawled out of bed at some unholy hour and disabled it.

Then came the issue of searching my home for a possible intruder. Being the man of the house it's my duty to walk around and find any sign of a burglar. See a man's real use are one of five things; vehicle maitenance, lawn care, extermination of bugs, taking out the garbage, and investigation of any sounds that startle people in the middle of the night. I exited the bedroom and nervously looked in the living room. There was no sign of any one there and the back door was locked an in position. I walked to the front of the house and and find that the poorly latched door was jarred open by the wind. Crisis averted.

What if it had been an intruder? I'd like to think I'd kick the ass of anyone entering my home with illicit intent, but my ninja skills would do little against someone carrying a weapon. I was kind of hoping I'd see someone wearing a white and black horizontal striped shirt and a zorro mask, but I consider the fact that no one was present to be a blessing.

I make a poor Texan as I don't own an automatic weapon specifically designed for those attempting to do me and my family harm. Although swinging a katanna would be cool....

"Things aren't right. If a burglar breaks into your home and you shoot him, he can sue you. For what, restraint of trade?" - Bill Maher

Jun 8, 2011

The dream

I opened the door and was immediately greeted by two scantily clad waitresses who subsided on a steady diet of ice, crackers, and jolly ranchers for dessert. With backs arched and glitter covering almost every pore they welcomed me to the establishment. I quickly scanned the joint wondering if I were to catch a glimpse of my party. There were a few bikers, but mostly it was filled with twenty-thirty something middle class gents swilling cheap beer that isn't fit for man nor beast. Some are there having guy time, making guy small talk, and ordering guy food. Some had a token female at their table, but I couldn't help but think they were in tow if only to make a vain attempt at looking cool.
The waitresses might as well have tossed aside what little clothing they had on and just served the drooling masses naked. As I joined my party we were greeted by a tall girl that had the name 'Stretch' scribed on her name tag. Why it was there is anyone's guess. She could've written "I have sodomized the Pope" and few would have noticed. She was gangley with boobs that rival those of an eleven year old and little was going on behind those eyes. She complained to us that there was a table full of foreigners near us and she couldn't decipher their accents, so in Mickey Rooney fashion Stretch imitated their grasp on the English language. She seemed very upset that they "didn't speak American."
I pondered the masculine ideal of the American dream being present at this restaurant. Men flirting and being given attention by skinny women with ugly tattoos and daddy issues is hardly a new concept, but what would Hunter do? Do I embrace my fellow males who hold on to the shallow hope that one of these girls would actually talk to them outside of this place? It was like I was surrounded with Glenn Beck fans and each server was Sarah Palin. It was time to drink amongst the Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia and the smell of light beer. Drink I did.
"Feminine virtue is nothing but a convenient masculine invention." - Ninon de Lenclos

Jun 7, 2011

Mullets need love.

Abortion is such a bizarre issue in the fact that in our politically correct world men are to have no opinions on the matter nor should wield any kind of legislative power over the matter, unless of course that man is pro-choice. Still as much as I don't agree with a lot of the pro-lifers, I understand their reasoning, flimsy as their arguments may be. Because of the high emotions surrounding the practice there doesn't seem to be much reasoned debate, which is sad.

Pro-lifers have always stereotypically been painted as the extremists for reasons that are obvious. I've never heard of a pro-choicer blowing up a church or killing a priest. Somehow those who are against abortion try to always up their ante to get attention to the issue in ways that can be disgusting.

Take for example a man in New Mexico who put up the billboard pictured above. Apparently he was none too pleased when he found out his pregnant girlfriend terminated the fetus and he aired his grievance to commuters to make a personal as well as political point. He of course is being sued by his ex.

I think the ex's case is a flimsy one as he has not named her in the billboard and does have a right to free speech, despicable as it may be. I think she should be more ashamed that she actually had sex with the mulleted anime fan, but who am I to judge? This guy is a douche though and hopefully this will keep any future women from ever dropping their slacks for him.

Is it fair to give fathers a stake in the outcome of a pregnancy? If a woman gets pregnant and the father doesn't want to be one, should he just man up and pay the child support while keeping his mouth shut, or is it ok for him to request other options? I understand that this is the body of the woman, but many livelihoods are at stake in the case of children. It keeps me torn sadly.

"As distasteful and offensive as the sign may be to some, for over 200 years in this country the First Amendment protects distasteful and offensive speech." - Todd Holmes

Jilted ex-boyfriend puts up abortion billboard

Jun 6, 2011

You're not hot.

Often times I hear stories from single ladies that are frustrated they get hit on by creepy older dudes who dress as if fashion stopped in 1988. I used to wonder about these guys, thinking they may have just been desperate and/or clueless about their appeal. Turns out they suffer from a real disorder called Hotness Delusion Syndrome.

Apparently there are far more single women than single men over the age of forty. Consequently these males are likely to be pursued to a greater degree, giving them the delusion that they're actually more attractive than they actually are. So if they're being told their hair plugs and gold chains are appealing they'll continue to flaunt them. Obviously men are going to up the ante and try for younger women when the cougars give them attention they in no way deserve. Sure they'll get shot down, or they may not.

Funny enough the only seemingly cure for this disorder is marriage. I can't make this stuff up.

"He can be balding and paunchy, but this is not what he sees in the mirror. He sees nothing less than trim, taut and, so he is told, terrific." - Bernard Salt

Middle-aged men have 'hotness delusion syndrome'