Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Please don't stand next to me in a thunderstorm

According to this article, a couple evacuated New Orleans to the relative safety of the mountain resort town of Helen, Georgia only to have a tornado spawned by Hurricane Katrina rip the roof off the motel they where they were staying.

Ugh, that's just not nice.

Where can I turn for peace?

I went to the temple in Atlanta today. There were four people in our session. My wife, myself, Karie Wright (a single sister from my branch), and one other person. My wife and I were the witness couple. I hadn't done an endowment session in about three years. Every chance I get to go to the temple in Baton Rouge has been youth temple trips. I hadn't realized until today that my wife and I hadn't been to the temple together since 2002.

I can't say that I got any answers to the prayers I offered. I can say that for a few minutes at a time, I was able to forget about my cares and worries. Normally the temple makes me forget about life for awhile. Today it seems overwhelming.

I do not know why this has happened. I do not yet see the wisdom in the massive buzzsaw the Lord has sent to humble the people of the Gulf Coast. I do believe that this is Wrath of God type stuff. Biloxi, Gulfport, Bay St. Louis, and New Orleans have all embraced immoral activities as cornerstones of their economies. People made their livelidhoods off of the sin of others. The wise man build his house upon the rock. Building floating casinos on sand over the ocean tempts God. The hard part in dealing with God's wrath is that good people suffer and die. Will this disaster humble us? I include myself. I have tried to do my part. I am prideful though. I'm not saying it's my fault, nor am I looking for people to tell me it's not. I am trying to work through my feelings.

F-bomb police

Evidently the solution to stopping the looting in New Orleans isn't bullets, but the policing of my language in a moment of anger against people trying to attack and take precious medicine from children trapped and besieged in a hospital surrounded by rising water and no chance of help from the authorities. Heaven forbid I should swear. The gall of some people.

JOHN 8:7 or shut the hell up, anonymous posters.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A simple solution to the looting problem

According to this post at

Tuesday, 11:45 p.m.Late Tuesday, Gov. Blanco spokeswoman Denise Bottcher described a disturbing scene unfolding in uptown New Orleans, where looters were trying to break into Children's Hospital.Bottcher said the director of the hospital fears for the safety of the staff and the 100 kids inside the hospital. The director said the hospital is locked, but that the looters were trying to break in and had gathered outside the facility.The director has sought help from the police, but, due to rising flood waters, police have not been able to respond.Bottcher said Blanco has been told of the situation and has informed the National Guard. However, Bottcher said, the National Guard has also been unable to respond.

The National Guard can respond very easily. Stop using a helicopter to rescue people, put a sniper in it, fly by the Children's Hospital and shoot the f***ers in the head. That'll stop it real quick. The authorities need to show some scrot and do what needs to be done. Are we the UN in Rwanda?


Widespread Looting in New Orleans, in plain view of police--go figure

According to this article,

Looting is happening in plain site of police and National Guard. Looting food and medicine is one thing. I understand that. Looting Compaqs and designer jeans is completely wrong.


Around the corner on Canal Street, the main thoroughfare in the central business district, people sloshed headlong through hip-deep water as looters ripped open the steel gates on the front of several clothing and jewelry stores. One man, who had about 10 pairs of jeans draped over his left arm, was asked if he was salvaging things from his store.
"No," the man shouted, "that's EVERYBODY'S store." (Looters like him should be shot on sight!)

Looters filled industrial-sized garbage cans with clothing and jewelry and floated them down the street on bits of plywood and insulation as National Guard lumbered by. (They can't take them to jail because they can't afford to take them out of the city).

Mike Franklin stood on the trolley tracks and watched the spectacle unfold.
"To be honest with you, people who are oppressed all their lives, man, it's an opportunity to get back at society," he said. (This is the kind of attitude that enables people to do wrong)

A man walked down Canal Street with a pallet of food on his head. His wife, who refused to give her name, insisted they weren't stealing from the nearby Winn-Dixie supermarket. "It's about survival right now," she said as she held a plastic bag full of purloined items. "We got to feed our children. I've got eight grandchildren to feed." (I completely understand their position and do not fault them in the least. However, they should've left town when ordered to do so)

Law enforcement efforts to contain the emergency left by Katrina slipped into chaos in parts of New Orleans Tuesday with some police officers and firefighters joining looters in picking stores clean.At the Wal-Mart on Tchoupitoulas Street, an initial effort to hand out provisions to stranded citizens quickly disintegrated into mass looting. Authorities at the scene said bedlam erupted after the giveaway was announced over the radio.While many people carried out food and essential supplies, others cleared out jewelry racks and carted out computers, TVs and appliances on handtrucks.Some officers joined in taking whatever they could, including one New Orleans cop who loaded a shopping cart with a compact computer and a 27-inch flat screen television.Officers claimed there was nothing they could do to contain the anarchy, saying their radio communications have broken down and they had no direction from commanders.“We don’t have enough cops to stop it,” an officer said. “A mass riot would break out if you tried.”Inside the store, the scene alternated between celebration and frightening bedlam. A shirtless man straddled a broken jewelry case, yelling, “Free samples, free samples over here.” Another man rolled a mechanized pallet, stacked six feet high with cases of vodka and whiskey. Perched atop the stack was a bewildered toddler.Throughout the store and parking lot, looters pushed carts and loaded trucks and vans alongside officers. One man said police directed him to Wal-Mart from Robert’s Grocery, where a similar scene was taking place. A crowd in the electronics section said one officer broke the glass DVD case so people wouldn’t cut themselves.“The police got all the best stuff. They’re crookeder than us,” one man said.Most officers, though, simply stood by powerless against the tide of law breakers. One veteran officer said, “It’s like this everywhere in the city. This tiny number of cops can’t do anything about this. It’s wide open.”At least one officer tried futilely to control a looter through shame.“When they say take what you need, that doesn’t mean an f-ing TV,” the officer shouted to a looter. “This is a hurricane, not a free-for-all.”Sandra Smith of Baton Rouge walked through the parking lot with a 12-pack of Bud Light under each arm. “I came down here to get my daughters,” she said, “but I can’t find them.”The scene turned so chaotic at times that entrances were blocked by the press of people and shopping carts and traffic jams sprouted on surrounding streets.Some groups organized themselves into assembly lines to more efficiently cart off goods. Toni Williams, 25, packed her trunk with essential supplies, such as food and water, but said mass looting disgusted and frightened her. “I didn’t feel safe. Some people are going overboard,” she said. Inside the store, one woman was stocking up on make-up. She said she took comfort in watching police load up their own carts. “It must be legal,” she said. “The police are here taking stuff, too.” (Staff writers Doug MacCash and Keith Spera assisted in this story.)

A sincere request

THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL LDS CHURCH REQUEST. This is from me, acting of my own accord and initiative. I am the Second Counselor in the Uptown Branch Presidency in New Orleans. We are really the only church unit in New Orleans. The New Orleans First Ward is actually mostly Metairie. The New Orleans Second Ward is a Spanish Ward whose membership covers anyone who speaks Spanish and lives on the East Bank of the Mississippi. The New Orleans Third Ward is a Singles Ward with college students scattered all over. The other units in the Stake all live in other towns and suburbs. With 80% of the city under water, I cannot think of any single member in our branch that will not have some kind of catastrophic loss or damage.

If you want to help, but are too far away to come put your shoulder to the wheel, please give. The best way to get money to those church members in need is to donate money to the church this Sunday in the Other column of your tithing slip. I imagine that each bishop will give instructions on how to title the donation. Every single penny will help someone.

I am from Atlanta, and my wife, daughter, myself and a single sister from my branch were all able to evacuate and stay with friends and family in Woodstock, Georgia. My Dad and I are planning to go to New Orleans as soon as we are allowed back in by the government. They have declared martial law, so we can’t go back until they permit us entry. We are going to take chain saws, gasoline, swimming pools of bottled water, food, tarps, shotgun shells, spray paint, commercial carpet drying fans, wet vacs, bleach, a generator, work gloves, mosquito repellant, and any other thing that I can think of. I can’t really afford to buy all this stuff, but I will charge it if need be. Once I secure my property, I will immediately begin helping other members of the Uptown Branch with their recovery. If you want to help out immediately, you can donate money directly to me. I will post the receipts on my blog (, and then donate any excess funds to either my branch’s fast offerings or the American Red Cross’s Emergency Disaster Relief Fund, according to your preference. You can paypal me the money at or send the money to my parents house payable to John Williams, 3339 Galts Rd. Acworth, GA 30102.

I am a graduate student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane University. You can call me at 770-974-5909 at my parents’ house, or try my cell # which may or may not work at 504-812-0468. I am not some charlatan trying to profit off of the disaster. I will be putting the money to immediate use.

Drove my chevy to the levee but it had a 200 foot long gaping hole in it.

Well the levee's have failed. My initial hope that my house didn't flood has been dashed upon the rocks of the 17th Street Canal's failure to hold. Still I am grateful that my family and I are safe. Not knowing is horrible.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hurricane Katrina 3:00 PM EDT

Well, it appears that maybe, just maybe, my house was spared. I only know this from anecdotal reports from people that live near my neighborhood that have been posted on I can only hope that the roof and windows held against such fierce winds. I don't know what I can do here from Atlanta, but I want to go home as soon as possible. It just may not be safe yet.

Thanks for your prayers, whether they were offered on my behalf or not.

Steve Harrigan

Thank goodness for the comic relief provided by Fox News's Steve Harrigan's reporting from Gulf Port, AL. His commentary on the power of the wind was most welcome in a nerve-racking experience.

Hurrican Katrina 11AM EDT

Well there are holes in the roof of the Superdome, reports of a house collapse at Laurel & Washington, levees are failing in the 9th Ward and in Kenner. 3 elderly people have passed away while being evacuated. I can't believe that the damage has not been more. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is still going to get crushed. I mostly worry about the storm surge. I was just in Biloxi two weeks ago, and we vacationed there in July. It can't handle a 20' storm surge. Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis will bear the brunt of it. Pray the levees hold. PRAY.

Hurricane Katrina 7:15 AM EDT

It looks like it's going just east of the city. Chalmette and Meraux will be catching hell. It looks like Port Sulphur already is. New Orleans will too.

I want to help. Something with my hands.

The Tropical Isle Bar's webcam is still up on Bourbon Street.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A sincere prayer

Heavenly Father,

In this hour of great peril set before us, I give thanks unto thee that my wife and daughter are safe from the storm's wrath. I give thee thanks that we have the technology and resources that allow us to know when a storm is coming towards us before it is upon us. I give thee thanks that most people were able to evacuate the city in an orderly manner. I give thee thanks that we have a safe place to evacuate to. I give thee thanks that we were able to make sure our friends and neighbors were safe and leaving. I give thee thanks that we were able to rent a car and not have any accidents during our travel.

Father, I hope that thou will not doubt the sincerity of my prayer. Though I realize that thy wrath may be kindled against the Gulf Coast, I would ask thee to temper thy anger. I do not know if I have sufficient faith for this prayer to be any good. It would appear now that the forecast is concrete. I'm sure my prayer is merely another drop in the bucket of endless supplications to thee today. I still ask father, please bless that the storm will weaken. Bless that it will steer itself to where it will do the least amount of damage. Father, please, oh please! Bless that the levee system might hold back the tide. Bless that no one will perish from the onslaught. Protect my home and my possessions. Protect my neighbors' homes and things. Bless my little car. Bless that Eric Walker and Bea Galloway were able to get out of the city safely. Bless that good will come from whatever damage is done. Temper the storm I beg thee. Thy will be done.

In the name of Jesus Christ,


On the morrow

Well, the doomsday scenario is upon us. On the morrow we'll find out where the worst of it's at. I hope and pray that it doesn't kill anyone. I keep praying but I am doubting that my little prayers will do any good against a juggernaut of this calibre.

My wife, my daughter, and I are all safely ensconced in my parents' house in Acworth, Georgia. That's all that really matters. I do worry about people I know. I don't know if everyone was able to get out.

This is for real.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

That is one big bastard of a storm

Yes, we're evacuating. No, we don't like doing this. Yes, we've said our prayers. No, we're not sure if they will help. Yes, the Lord's wrath is kindled against someone. No, we're not sure if it's us. In all seriousness, someone is going to get the ever loving snot kicked out of them. Pray that no one dies.

Seriously, say a prayer right now.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Walkin' on Sunshine


I imagine that Mr. Chamberlain will be sued by DC Comics, and that he will lose. Batman vs. The Supreme Court? Only in Gotham!

Read more here:

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Young Jeezy and today's outrageous rap lyrics

So, this morning I decided to watch a little MTV while I ate breakfast because there were actually some videos on (it was 8 in the morning CDT). I saw one by the Killers which was predictably weird, and then a jewel of everything I hate about hiphop came on the air. I was called "And then what" by a rapper named "Young Jeezy."

Now, let's hope that his name isn't a nickname for Jesus, cause neither the twain shall meet. The video started out with a voluptuous sheerly dressed woman lying down on her bed, turning on the TV and the proceeding to undress in a state of arousal as she watched Young Jeezy's video on her TV. It reminded me of that one Billy Idol video "Rock the Cradle of Love" except whereas the girl in Idol's video acted like she was having sex with someone in bed that wasn't there, the girl in the video today was made to look as though she were masturbating to the image on her TV. It was still subtle enough that MTV would show it. They were also using what I call "P Diddy" lighting. She was in a golden tone, all sweaty, with glare on her edges, like Puff Daddy in the "Benjamins" and every other Biggy-rip-off era video.

If you just read the lyrics below, they might not seem that clear, or clearly degrading, but when you watch the video, it illustrates some horrible things in hiphop. Let's analyze the lyrics and I'll elaborate in brackets.

First I'm going to stack my flow (He is going to sell some drugs)
Then I'm going to stack some more (he is going to sell some more)
Close shop then I do my count (he is going to count the day's illegal proceeds)
Hide the rest of the yams at my auntie house (He will cache the profits at his aunt's house)
Get fresh and jump in one of them cars (He will shower and then drive away)
Hit the club and get one of them broads (Dance and proposition a woman)
It's a wrap we on the way to the house (She is willing to fornicate with him at his house)
By 3:45 I'll be kicking her out (Since he doesn't love her, he will ask her to leave in the middle of the night, like a true gentleman)

Patty cake patty cake microwave (The radio plays his songs)
These suckas make a square, god damn I'm paid (Music industry cut his album, blasphemous joy over filthy lucre)
I'm so cool but I'm so hot and I'm so fly and you is so not (playground insults)
Show me what your working with, just like that (Let me see your buttocks)
Turn around, bend over, bring it back (come closer to me, bend over, press your buttocks against my penis)
Snowman and Mannie Fresh bring it back (hailing his backing crew)
So Mannie Fresh and Snowman, it's a rap (Okay, he is done)

Wrap it up in the club, ya I'm so crazy (He admits his insanity)
These other rappers actors like Patrick Swayze (Implying that Mr. Swayze is a poor actor)
I try to tell them but these niggas aint hear me (He tries to tell other nubians, but they ignore him)
Mossberg pump, i'm riding shotgun literally (He admits that he carries around this gun
Live from the projects, you know what it is (He lives in public housing)
Hey Snowman can I get an adlib (He wants his DJ to adlib)
Get the club crunk, cant take that from me (His music will make people go wild with hedonism in a dance club)
A drop ya, still got a lil jon money (who freaking knows--lil jon is a famous crunker)

I see you lookin, what you looking at (are you eyeballing me?)
Catch Snowman in the kitchen with his cooking ass (his DJ is making crystal meth)
I'm so clean but I'm so grimey (I'm clean, but I get my hands dirty in crime)
So dirty but yet I'm so shiney (I am proud that I talk about crime, look at all the gawdy jewelry I own)
My nigga, Kiki B told me me finish my meal (my friend told me to make this record)
Def jam 7 figures we can finish the deal (Def Jam records thought he was capable of doing it)
Some say I lucked up I call it perfect timing (His success is not attributable to chance, but to calculated effort)
Nigga, I can't lose the whole city's behind me (You, my neighbors all support me)

I got million dollar dreams and federal nightmares (He wants to make lots of money but hates taxes and prosecution for his crimes--most likely possession with intent to distribute)
We pop chris my niggas and still drink beer (they take crystal meth and they also drink beer)
What did you expect man I came from nothing (I was born poor feel sorry for me)
Real street niggas wouldnt change for nothing (because he was born poor, he thinks that it's chivalrous to act the way he does and claims to be intractable)
Got my nigga out the hood, it's such a wonderful feeling (Even though he's not poor anymore, and won't change, even he feels glad to get out of substandard housing in the inner citiies)
Three car garage with the twelve foot ceilings (bragging about his house)
It ought to be a crime just to feel this good
I swear it ought to be a crime just to be in this hood (his neighbors most likely wish it were)

Okay, I took out the chorus after the first time. I love the fact that he deals drugs and then goes and hides them at his aunt's home. To me this speaks to the reality of african-american women being the stabilization factors in the impoverished urban landscape. I hate this song with every fiber of my being.

It's just another example of what this week's Time magazine cover story on Kanye West talks about. "His music is about being human," says West's obviously biased mother Donda, who recently retired from her post as chair of the English department at Chicago State University. "It's like Walt Whitman. 'Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.'" West's old boss, Damon Dash, puts it a little differently: "He combines the superficialness that the urban demographic needs with conscious rhymes for the kids with backpacks. It's brilliant business"

That the "urban demographic" needs "superficialness" could be read as two euphemisms away from racism. But Dash, an African American who thinks exclusively in shades of green, is merely letting the world in on what's accepted as social fact by much of the record industry. Hip-hop was born in the '70s as party music and evolved in the '80s into that rarest of pleasures--socially relevant party music. But in the mid-'90s, the genre came to be dominated by people like Snoop Dogg (sample track: Murder Was the Case), the Notorious B.I.G. (Ten Crack Commandments) and Jay-Z (Rap Game/ Crack Game)--excellent rappers with a shrewd eye for journalistic detail but, to put it bluntly, ex--drug dealers. "Rap changed a lot in the last few years," notes comedian and hip-hop fan Chris Rock, who says he listens to The College Dropout while he writes jokes. "In the early days, the best rappers weren't necessarily from the hood. Run-D.M.C. was from Hollis [Queens, N.Y.]. Eric B and Rakim were from Long Island. They lived next to the hood."

When the hard stuff sold well (hard stuff, in any medium, always does), the record labels, never bastions of original thought, asked for more. Soon rappers who had never got a speeding ticket were referring to themselves as pimps and hustlas, and what had started as ghetto reporting with a touch of caricature metastasized into caricature with no tether to reality. The result was [and is still, I say] a torrent of albums about the joys of acquisitiveness (bling, if you must), consequence-free violence and compliant women.

All that was complicated by--and you had to know it was coming--race. Statistics consistently show that 70% of hip-hop is consumed by young white audiences, but a century of anecdotal evidence is similarly irrefutable: white kids think it's cool to be black, which means the other 30% sets the trends and runs the show. With the market mired in thuggery, African-American consumers' could choose to: a) propagate a nasty stereotype of themselves for white kids to pin their libidinous fantasies on; b) not care; c) start patronizing the danger-free, supernice, superboring rappers at the liberal humanist fringe; or d) give up.

"I stopped listening to hip-hop 10 years ago," says Darryl McDaniels, the D.M.C. in Run-D.M.C. McDaniels points out that Run-D.M.C. rhymed about everything from materialism (My Adidas) and higher education ("I'm D.M.C. in the place to be/ I go to St. John's University") to Santa Claus (Christmas in Hollis). "We weren't choirboys, but we had multiple points of view. This past decade it seems like hip-hop has mostly been about parties and guns and women. That's fine if you're in a club, but from 9 a.m. till I went to bed at night, the music had nothing to say to me. So I listened to classic rock." What brought McDaniels back from his diet of John Mellencamp and Bob Seger was Jesus Walks. "When I heard it, I just stopped in my tracks," says McDaniels. "I thought, 'This song is about everything! This feels alive!'"

Maybe Kanye West can heal hip hop: Like many suburban kids, he developed a passion for hip-hop that was only enhanced by his awareness that the genre often romanticized bad behavior. I used to love it. I still like Outkast (for the most part), but the rest of it got old years ago. I live in New Orleans and the rap video scenes that seem so far away from suburban Atlanta where I grew up are a reality here. I tried to explain to my Boy Scout troop on a campout a couple of years ago why 50 Cent's "In Da Club" was a nasty, misogynistic, hedonistic piece of filth, and I was immediately accused of being a racist. Nevermind that these boys are all Mormons, they see nothing wrong with glorifying what, though it may not be their reality, inhabits the same streets, schools, alleys, and jails as they do. I say jails because some of those scouts from 3 Falls ago are now either dead or incarcerated.

If 70% of hiphop sales are to white kids, then it's the damned parents' fault.

Happiness is a warm gun, bang bang shoot shoot. Thank Heavens no one can sample that yet.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Katrina and the Waves

Looks like we're in the danger cone yet again.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Commodity Fetichism at Its Worst!

Before I go off on this extended jeremiad against the evils of hiphop's obessession with bling bling, let me say that their materialism is no worse than the Joe Walsh "Life's Been Good to Me" lyrics and the videos of the buttrock bands in the 80s. This is just currently the particular flavor that gross materialism is taking. I'd like to rail against it for a spell.

In Rolling Stone's August 25, 2005 issue, they review a recently published book called Bling Bling: Hip Hop's Crown Jewels by Minya Oh. I have not read the book myself, but the excepts that RS published are enough to convince me that the book isn't a critical attack on unrestrained excess. Starting with the title I could tell that the tone would be one of praise, and not a mere documentary because Crown Jewels implies royalty, in this case a wholly self-appointed nobility with no peerage amongst its ranks. The oneupmanship practiced by the dukes, earls, viscount, hidalgos, princes, and jesters of the hip hop world knows no bounds and is a world of constant worry that someone will rob you not just of your possessions (most likely insured by their accountants) but disrespect you enough so that your street cred plummets to the point that other people will try and take you out or some other crap that 50 Cent talks about in his little section.

He admits that his bling bling on the road is fake. He says that Nelly's chains are all CZs and that 70% of the rap game is frontin', so basically the only words coming out of his mouth that you can believe are the articles and prepositions. I also like how he says "If you goin' spend $5 million on diamonds, you a damn fool." I take it 50 goes to Belgium to get them himself and take out the middle man and De Beers.

I hate the glorification of violence, yet I am drawn to it inside of certain circles. Hip hop is not one of them. 50 Cent says, 'It's about someone taking something from me so he can say, I robbed 50 Cent.' But then I've got to kill him for it. Dead serious. Interviewer: But you can't just brush it off? Any disrespect is still a life-or-death situation. The streets don't care about my change of position. I'm from an environment where the price of life is cheap. So don't act like I ain't got what it takes to make it happen. I have people ready to do it. Whether it's a chain or beef with another artist, it's no sweat off my back--I'm ready."

Okay, first the comical. "I robbed 50 Cent!" So you'll kill the guy over two quarters? Now seriously, the dude says he's got people to make it happen. Like he can't handle his own heat himself. Sheesh. I hope he does something stupid and rots in jail like he should have. In a previous RS interview about 3 years ago, I remember reading where he made it obviously clear that he had killed people before. He also said that if he were robbing a home and someone was there he would "Kill every mother fcuker up in there" because he couldn't afford to be caught. in the immortal words of Wyclef Jean:

Wyclef:Hello, boys and girls. Welcome to Wyclef Words of Wisdom. I am here with an m.c. that everyone is scared of. He has killed over a million people on record and he's still not locked up. Am, what is your name sir?
Killer M.C.: Nuhmsayin? Am...
Wyclef: Yeah. Basically, if you have killed so many people why ain't you locked up?
Killer M.C.: I'm sayin' though like, nuhmsayin?
Wyclef: Yeah, exactly my point. Don't believe the hype.


In his section, Lil Jon shows that the only pronoun he is capable of using is motherfcuker. Anything that would normally carry an it, he, or she becomes mofo when it leaves his crunky mouth.


Baby, the CEO of Cash Money Records startled me with this ode to excess, "I'm the type of nigga that once I wear something, I don't like wearing it again. I come out with some new shit. Every time I go on TV I've got to have a brand-new piece. That just distinguishes me from everybody else. When I'm dead and gone, motherfcukers will look back at me and say, 'That's what I call stuntin'. " Baby doesn't realize that in trying to differentiate himself from everyone else, he is becoming more like everyone else. The wound can only be healed by the spear that created the wound. Always remember that you are an individual!

Just like everyone else.


In a clever mixing of materialism, religion, and profaning the sacred the good Reverend Run tells us that, "God don't have a beef with stuff. God is the most materialistic person of all. He doesn't command you to be poor." This must be a recently translated text from the Dead Sea Scrolls, or else the good Reverend is a newly minted prophet--having written his soon to be canonized Gospel According to Run. Theologically he's all over the map. The gnostic idea of god as a person doesn't jive with the mainstream Christian notion of an omnipotent god. Though we are created in his image. I seem to clearly remember Jesus telling the young man that he should give all his stuff to the poor, but Run would tell him, "Keep it man, you can take it with you." Oh the levels to which we have sunk.


Only Chuck D doesn't make a fool of himself--in fact I think he's eloquent and right on the money--perhaps the best critique on any level of the excesses of bling. He says that black skin is all the bling that people need. He calls diamonds an attempt to obtain the ultimate status symbol--white skin, and that platinum and diamonds on white people are redundant symbols of wealth and power.

No I have no Fear of a Black Planet. I only fear that young kids without a strong parental presence in their lives will look at this and aspire to it--by any means necessary. I remember meeting Deion Sanders in person in the Fall of 1990. He wouldn't write "To Mac" when he signed his autograph (which sadly, I paid to receive). He had sunglasses on inside and enough gold on to stock an outlet mall jewelry kiosk. I hated his gold. I hate his excess. I hated that he seemed to act like I owed him something, that it was a privilege for me to pay him to sign his glossy 8x10. I have to admit I hated him, and still feel no particular love for him. I think it was the gold. To me it was a visual manifestation of all that was wrong with iconification of pop stars/athletes/etc. I recoiled from it.

I will never wear any jewelry other than my wedding band.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Sometimes I wish duels were still legal.

I just can't believe this. It is just not right. Anger welling up.....

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing

Taken verbatim from the above article:

Murder rates have fallen dramatically in many major U.S. cities -- but that's not happening in the Big Easy.
Although the murder rate in New Orleans is lower than it was a decade ago, it's rising and is nearly 10 times the national average.
A criminologist said the city's trend is the reverse of 46 of the top 50 cities in the United States.
Experts said the trend in the city that's home to the popular French Quarter exists for several reasons -- drugs, too few police, inexperienced prosecutors, and residents staying quiet because they fear retaliation.
They point to an experiment last year by university researchers in which police fired 700 blank rounds in a New Orleans neighborhood in a single afternoon.
No one called police to report the gunfire.

That's the world we live in. 700 gunshots and not one phone call to the police.

Sex toys and Liberal orgasms

Okay, before reading the rest of my post, go read this "article" otherwise known as "editorial" at the following link.

As a Mormon, most people would consider me to be pruddish, super-conservative, etc. Obviously my attitudes about sex are going to be conservative: Sex should only happen between two people who are legally and lawfully married. But even then, if we look at sex in an extra-moral sense, I believe that pornography is a lie that cripples men, and fornication spreads disease, causes unwanted pregnancies, and emotionally devastates people when the relationship ends. Condoms are not perfect, people without committments are not always faithful (I would reckon less faithful than married folks), and sex is a powerful emotion--an emotion that has been severely dulled by a cultural glibness towards sex (thanks baby boomers) and exposure to pornography and its accompanying accumulation of signs.

Yet, insides the bonds of marriage I think sex is great and should happen as often as both parties want it to. As long as BOTH partners are okay with doing something it's okay. Again, according the parameters I established above this would obviously preclude viewing pornography (even inside of marriage) and any other sexual activity that involved someone besides your spouse.

So where do sex toys fall into the broad spectrum of liberal mormon sexual okayness? Like I said, as long as both people are okay with something, I'd say it's okay. As proof of this I mention the fact that my wife, recently returned from St. George, Utah (a bastion of Mormonism) mentioned that her sister went to a sex toy party a la Avon or Pampered Chef Party hosted by an LDS bishop's wife. Everyone in attendance was LDS, and lots of stuff was purchased.

Now, the author of the that piece in the SF Chronicle undoubtedly is excited over the non-purient way in which has begun selling these items. One can imagine the pornographic images he describes as usually accompanying the webpages, catalogs, and instore displays with which these products are commonly sold. In this aspect I must agree with the author. By removing the association of these products with the hot pink painted "Adult Book Stores" and their accompanying glorification and normalizing of pornography, Amazon is tapping into an unrespected and untapped market, the Average Married Couple. No way in hell I'm going to go into an establishment to purchase something like this because I don't want the taint of pornography on me. Same thing with purchasing something like this on the web, too much hedonism, not enough respect that some people might buy these things and don't want to have to embrace the purient sides of sexual appetites. Precisely by selling these things without fanfare, advertising, or publicity, Amazon is taking the high road. However, there will be some unintended consequences.

I have to disagree with the author that the mainstreaming of sex toys and of porn culture are a good thing. I would also like to counter that there should be a limited access to these products based off of age. I'm not worried that my children will order them, but someone else's kid might, and there are certain aspects of sex that I think my children should only discover at the hands of their future spouses, sex toys being a subject I cannot fathom talking about with anyone related to me. Not because I'm embarrased, but because they might be. Sex toys, like pornography, run the risk of becoming a "must have" almost fetishcized thing that is unneeded in a wholly natural and healthy act. Porn culture is a pernicious evil that I wish we could stamp out.

I went to school during a relatively modest time in American dress. Aside from a miniskirt on occassion, most people dressed very modestly from 1984-1992 when I graduated high school. Some time in the late 1990s, I began to notice that girls weren't wearing much clothing anymore, and if they did, it was very form fitting. Then really tight clothing with provocative, cockteasing messages started showing up across breasts or worse, on the seat of shorts and pants. It is very hard to ignore looking at someone who is beautiful. It is even harder to avoid looking at someone when the express outline of their body is visible through their clothes. It is damned near impossible not to at least glance at someone's butt when it has the word "Juicy" or "Perfect" written across it. Is this because porn is so much more tolerable than it was 15 years ago? Perhaps. Probably. I'd venture that, yes, without a doubt.

So what am I to do with my conservative values that I think are the correct way to live? Do I force them on others and seek to repeal legislation and legal decisions which allow and in some cases encourage sin? How do I relate to and work with people who openly live with someone else? Do I shun them? Should I treat them with hostility? Well, when I think about the Savior's life and those he visited, he didn't really go to those people that were already believers, he treated everyone the same based off their actions. To the woman caught in adultery in John 8 he saved her life and told her to go and sin no more. He warned the Pharisees to remove the beam from their own eyes before worrying about the mote in their neighbors'. Therefore the attitude I take is this, I lived in ignorance of the Gospel for the first 17 years of my life. I thought that sex was the end all be all of human existence and exposed myself to its workings every chance I got. I thought religion was a crutch that people used to assuage their fears over the end of life, their fear of complete annhilation. So, I can't really sit in judgement over others until I walk the perfect path, which I'm not yet capable of doing. So, I don't judge other people. I do not agree with the way they live their lives, but I don't treat them any differently because of that. It's too easy to get mad and angry at someone. Contention is a greater evil than we realize.

Don't give money to evil things. Stand in righteous places and get your own garden in shape before offering to weed someone else's. Sex is not just for procreation.

I own no sex toys.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Gout sucks

All my plans for getting stuff done this week are dashed upon the shore of my hyperuricemia. Damnit all to hell. I just want to feel better. I've lost weight, changed my diet, and avoided the foods that trigger gout, and yet it keeps coming back.

Piss. Sticker. ****

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Jewelry knocking and tlaes of the one that got away

So, today was my Dad's 55th birthday and since I've been sick since I got here and finally felt whole again today, we went out and did all of the things that we've been talking about doing since we got here. When I was a little kid, we lived in Dillard, Rabun County, Georgia and a favorite pastime when family or friends came to town was to go gem mining. Now as I remember it, they gave you a big bucket of dirt for a dollar and you might or might not find something cool. It was fun and half the entertainment was watching the tailings of the dirt float away down the flume. We told Marley about it and she got all excited and started calling it "jewelry knocking", as did I--thinking about the fun we had as a family when I was a kid. Well, nowadays it's all a racket of "seeded" mines where you pay $10 for a bucket of feldspar with a few chunks thrown in. They then tell you what you found and offer to cut them for you at $40 per cut. The simple innocence has gone.

Next we went trout fishing at the Buck Creek Gap Trout Farm near Little Switzerland, North Carolina. A really nice man who looked like my friend Paul Dunn if he were 45, smoked, had a pony tail and had really really let himself go, let us fish for $3.00 a pound. We all caught some fish and Marley got to reel them in until she was bored. Normally a trout farm is as sure a thing as some girls that went to my high school, but it was a little too hot even for the trout to bite. It took us an hour to catch 8 fish. I had more fun watching my little girl struggling to reel in her fish.

I went outside and found Perseus and saw a shooting star about every 200 seconds. It's supposed to peak in another few hours, but I don't think I can stay up that late. I forget how nice it is to look up and be able to see the Milky Way above me. I know it's there in New Orleans, but you can't see it. If only there were a good way to make money in the country.

Getting sick on vacation sucks. It ends on Saturday and I was sick over half our time here. Not even fair. Not at all.

Back among the living in a verdant paradise

Behold for yourselves

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sick as a dog

Seems that my wife and daughter brought back the stomach flu they caught in Utah to me. I've puked and spent HOURS on the commode since Sunday night. Happy happy joy joy. Piss and vinegar.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Greetings from Pensacola, North Carolina

Well we made it to the cabin in the woods that my parents that my parents have rented for the next week. It turns out that it has a DSL connection, so I do have access to the Internets. Pensacola is about as big as the street I grew up on, which makes this place awesome. I can see the top of Mt. Mitchell from here, which is the highest point east of the Mississippi. It's 59 F here right now and it's August so this is a welcome break from the oppresive heat of New Orleans. My 92 year old grandpa is with us--he grew up in these mountains--and he's doing alright. He's a bit incontinent these days so that's never fun, but it's great to be around him for longer than the typical 2 hour visit to his assisted living facility. Marley is actually warming up to him. I just wish my Mom would let the man be and stop bossing him around. The house is very nice. I love my wife and daughter and all of my family.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Like moonlight through the pines

So, we're in Georgia tonight at my parents' house because we're leaving tomorrow to spend a week in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Maybe I'll actually get some reading done this Summer while I'm there. I'll be incommunicado for the next week most likely. No one reads this anyway.

Also, email Tim Boisvert and ask him to see our newest movie Breakdown. It's much better than Cats. You're going to see it again and again. No, we don't speak Norwegian.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


That's what percentage of my old self that I am today.

Weight on 1-17-05: 440 lbs.
Weight on 8-2-05: 372.4 lbs.
-67.6 lbs. lost

The South Beach Diet, even with the modifications that I've made works! I recommend it to anyone that doesn't like dieting. I need to punch another hole in my belt.

A juror of his peers will "30" his ass

Former NOPD officers Len Davis & Sammie Williams (no relation) are in the sentencing phase of their trial for the contract killing of a NOLA woman in 1993.

Williams was at the heart of the FBI's investigation from the beginning. For example, when an undercover FBI agent posed as a drug dealer and solicited help from corrupt cops, Williams and Davis bit. When a dozen officers began pulling guard duty at an FBI-run cocaine warehouse, Williams and Davis scheduled the shifts. When the undercover agent requested a fresh batch of officers to escort drug shipments, Williams and Davis rounded them up.

And he was there for phone calls secretly recorded by the FBI. But on Monday, Davis in opening statements told jurors the FBI misunderstood his slang. Davis was taped saying "I could get P to come do that ho' now. And then I can come handle the 30."

The "P" referred to hitman Paul Hardy, who also was sentenced to death but will get a new sentencing hearing this fall: why? I don't know! "30" refers to the code number for a homicide; Davis said he only wanted to "30" Groves' drug dealing, not her life. He is stupid if he thinks people will think "do that ho'" is the way someone refers to someone they want to help. He wanted her dead, he had her killed. He deserves to die. Stupid piggish men! They abused their power in the most gross way, protecting criminals and not the citizenry from criminals.

D&C 121:39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

My left nut

I'd give anything right now, including my left testicle, to have my wife and daughter here with me today. I miss them so badly I want to cry. Seriously.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Achy Nuts

That was my sister's nickname for me the last few days she was here due to my condition. It still persists. I was hoping that Mother Nature might solve the problem for me. She tried early this morning, at exactly 8:22AM to be exact, because right at the moment when things would've changed for me, as if it were lifted from that bubblegum pop Partridge Family song, MCI called to see if I wanted to save any money on long distance. AT 8:22 IN THE MORNING! Damned if I do, pained if I don't.

Mi huevo izquierdo está del tamaño de un balón de tenis. Esto no puede ser bueno. Me siento como si tuviera 13 años otra vez. ¡Es increíble!