Johnny Two-Cents

Johnny Two-Cents: The hard, bitter core of the squishy center.

Ardent conservative and peerless obscurantist.

Kvetching about news, politics, culture, and things that explode, since 1896.

Current Terror Alert Level
Terror Alert Level

Saturday, March 15, 2003
[posted by johnny two-cents]:
The Three Tryciclists of the Apocalypse

Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for our man from Chicago, Windy City Mike. He has very graciously agreed to join our little band, with ze bang, and ze boom, and ze boom boom boom boom bang. I'll let him do his own introduction, only saying this on his behalf: He is definitely someone I want fighting by my side when the zombies come for our brains.

[posted by johnny two-cents]:
Well, Steve, rather shockingly I find myself agreeing with you on almost all counts, and here I was all ready to grab you by the belt and pull you back from the frogbashing precipice over which have leapt so many of our best and brightest. I only hope they don't think that after all this, they stand a chance of getting in on the ground floor of any reconstruction, nation-building, Marshall Plan, or accolades that would ensue in the event of a successful overthrow of Saddam. They can go pound salt.

I only have this to say in defense of the duplicitous pointy-mustache farmers: any nation that can invent bearnaise sauce can't be all bad. Mmmmmm........creamy.......

Friday, March 14, 2003
[posted by Buckethead]:
The French

As Al Bundy said, it is good to hate the French. Cheese eating surrender monkeys. We can all have fun mocking the French. Every Bastille Day, I have a mournful drink in honor of all those who went to the guillotine to ensure French Liberty.

France presents a problem for the United States. Despite being our nominal ally, they have obstructed us at every turn for at least the last six months. We should not be terribly surprised; the French live for being obstructionist. A classic example was France’s departure from NATO at the height of the cold war, only to return after the Soviet Union was safely on the dustbin of history.

But the problem is not entirely with France. We were the ones who went to the UN, allowing them to entangle us in endless UN shenanigans. In the short term, though, these maneuverings will amount to little – we will eventually tell the UN to piss up a rope, and invade Iraq. Saddam will get his long deserved appointment with justice, and the Iraqi people will dance in the streets of Baghdad once we liberate it. With a little luck and some hard work, the United States, Britain and Australia will create a halfway decent nation there with rule of law, a fair amount of freedom and a marked absence of oppression, murder, torture and rape. I think that we can reasonably expect that in ten years, Iraq will be on par politically and economically with 60s/70s South Korea, with the hope that in the not too distant future, it might follow the same path and become a real democracy.

However, it is painfully clear that whatever France’s reasons are for their stubborn resistance, it has nothing to do with Iraq. The possibility of a free, prosperous and Saddam free Iraq does not move the French. The fact that they have effectively allied with a malignant thug, effects them not at all. Protestations that "War is Failure" from Chirac (however ironically appropriate coming from a French leader) are obviously disingenuous because at this very moment, French forces are fighting a bloody war in the Ivory Coast in West Africa, without UN sanction.

It seems that there are several interlocking motives for recent French obnoxiousness. One, reaching for power in the EU. Two, fear and loathing at how strong the American hegemonic hyperpuissance has become. Three, internal French domestic issues. And finally, naked self interest.

First the naked self interest. France’s willingness to undermine UN sanctions that France itself had voted for goes back to the end of the first Cold War. France was the primary buyer of Iraqi oil in the oil for food program, France made millions selling arms to Iraq, and was shipping spare parts as recently as a couple weeks ago. France stands to make more billions if oil deals currently in place were ever acted on and sanctions lifted.

As for the EU, France’s desire to be the leader of a European superstate has long been commented on. For reasons unknown to mortal man, the Germans have gone along with this, loyally licking France’s boots ever since the EU came into being. France’s real opinions on the position of other nations in the nascent European federal state were on display when, after several East European leaders signed a statement in support of the U.S., President Chirac said that they had all "Missed a good opportunity to keep quiet.". This is of course stupendously arrogant. Imagine the international reaction to an American President saying exactly the same thing, and adding that it "was not well brought up behavior."

France, despite copious evidence that it is a partially industrialized barely second tier world power with almost no ability to project military power beyond its own borders and scarcely more power within its borders, still thinks that this is the Napoleonic age and that the world should tremble before France, and accede to her merest whim. France envisions its future as a counterweight to American power – more on that in a minute. France has been the driving force behind the evolution of the European Common Market of the 60s into the European Union of today. At every stage, the French have pushed to have ever more power over European citizens concentrated in a group of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

It is worth noting that whenever one of these proposals has come to a vote, in any nation, it has failed. The entire EU project is undemocratic, imposed by fiat from above. France feels that it will benefit from this situation – that the power of all the other nations in Europe can be harnessed to the pursuit of French aims. And since the Americans had conveniently neutered the Germans, the only thing in the way was the British. France has used the recent international hooforah as a pretext to try to strengthen its position winthin the EU. This may have backfired, as the southern and eastern tiers of Europe are less and less willing to follow the French lead. And the British, well, they have never liked following the French. Which leaves the French in charge of a coalition consisting of themselves, Germany and Belgium. The "Unilateral" U.S. has the support of six times as many European nations as France.

Along with the French desire to control the EU, the French also oppose the U.S. on more general terms. As the sole remaining superpower, the U.S. at this moment is in a position of absolutely unparalleled strength in relation to the rest of the world – more so even than in the immediate aftermath of WWII. Without sounding too jingoistic, we could defeat all of the navies of the world faster than they could assemble. We, and we alone can project overwhelming military power anywhere on the globe. And we can do this without breaking the bank – we are spending half (as a percentage of GDP) on defense as we were during the worst years of the Cold War. The American economy, despite a recent mild downturn, is still outperforming every other economy. Japan and Europe are in the doldrums, and have been for over a decade. American innovation, dynamism and cultural ubiquity scare the French.

When I was in college for the second time, a foreign exchange student from France was a friend of mine. He had asked me to take him into town so that he could purchase a car. He had expressed a clear need for a large, American car with a V8 engine. While we were waiting for the appointed time, he began complaining about "American Cultural Hegemony." This was too much for me, as I was sitting there watching someone smoking Marlboros, wearing Levis, listening to rock music, and about to go buy a big American V8 car. "Dude, no one held a gun to your head! You bought in of your own free will… " But he was exercised over Euro Disney and McDonalds in the City of Lights. People buy it because they like it.

We offend them. Just by existing. By being so simplisme yet so perversely successful and powerful. France is attempting to build a coalition to form a counterweight to American power. Germany, China and Russia have signed on, along with every tinpot dictator or islamofascist theocracy who fears that they’re next on our list. But how far will this get them? Three vetoes on the on the UN security council and not a lot more. It will be decades before Russia is a functioning nation again, they are nothing even close to a world power. They have moved into the third world. China is struggling to leave the third world, but with half a billion desperately poor, barely literate peasants moving into the cities at an ever growing rate, it may be likelier that China collapses than it becomes a true world power. And Germany is subject to the same stultifying effects of EU overregulation as France. This is not a coalition of weasels, it’s a ad hoc alliance of failed states masquerading as world powers.

Finally, you have internal French domestic politics. The large suburbs of unassimilated and radicalized Islamic youth circling every French city must weigh heavily on the French subconscious, though I think they prefer not to think about openly. Not upsetting this large minority must be a factor in French decision making. Also, like Schroeder, Chirac has parlayed populist anti-Americanism into electoral success.

It has annoyed me that the media has continually harped on the fact that America’s “unilateralism” has damaged our relations with our allies. But the fact is, the consequences of French intransigence and pride will hit them a lot harder when they realize that they’ve pissed off not merely an American administration, but a large fraction of the American people. My step grandfather fought in WWII and he still hasn’t forgiven the Japanese. The American public is often forgetful, but by no means always. They have damaged their relations with us.

[posted by Buckethead]:
From our good friend in Chicago:


Hmmm. Here's the thing. While I understand the visceral reaction of the people who distanced themselves from Representative Moran, referring to his remarks as "indefensible," and offensive, there are other things to consider. Granted, his remarks are offensive to people, that is undeniable.

Has it occurred to anyone, however, that he's just plain wrong? The reaction to Moran's remarks are further evidence that many Americans no longer give a damn what somebody says, and whether it is accurate or inaccurate, but only how they say it.

Plus, Moran thinks he's right, and he's probably going to continue to think he's right. We cannot stop people from thinking unpleasant things just by preventing them from saying it, or censuring them when saying it. Maybe, instead of yelling at people and calling them offensive, it's more constructive to just say, "No, you're wrong, and here's why." Just a thought.


[posted by Buckethead]:
China is planning to create a space station and start mining the moon. Meanwhile, here in America, we do diddly.

We could have had a real spaceship seven years ago, but instead we built a lot of nothing.

[posted by Buckethead]:
Some Random Thoughts

I now hear that 71% of the American public now wants the war to begin, quickly. The waiting really is the wearing part, though I think that early next week we may see the beginning of Gulf War II.

My current take is that, barring major diplomatic breakthroughs with the “undecided” members of the security council, we will announce that we aren’t seeking a vote, because France would have vetoed it anyway, and then attack on the 18th or 19th. This will leave the blame for castrating the UN with France.

I am looking forward to talking with (arguing with) my friends from Ohio when they arrive late this evening. While I have not discussed the war with them in any real detail (I don’t get back home very often anymore) I hope that the “No war for oil/Bush is a fascist” type of antiwar argument has not seduced them. I don’t think it has, though I am very, very curious to hear what they think about the ANSWER crowd that has been organizing these protests (unrepentant Stalinists) or the talk of plans for actively interfering with preparations for war. Or how they justify their opposition to the United States when the U.S. is going up against such a deranged mongoloid fuckw*t as Saddam. Or what relevance French opinions have on American security interests in the Persian Gulf region.

Eminem is like Pat Boone

What formal education I have had has largely been in Political Science and in Computer Science. One discipline is more or less engineering, the other is the red-headed stepson of the humanities. History, English, Philosophy, Sociology and Anthropology tend very strongly to the left. At my college (and Johno’s) the only conservative faculty in the humanities were the two Political Science professors. The history department had two communists, and a liberal.

Also, I read a lot of science fiction.

So, I tend to look at history in a very judgmental way. (Many people now think that being judgmental and discriminating are bad things. But ask yourself: how far you would get in a day without deciding between things, or deciding that something was bad?) When I read history, I always think to myself, "Well they were right about that. That was clearly wrong. If they had done this thing, they would have been better off." This is why I like alternate history novels.

I also take the same approach to current events. I look at what people are doing, and what effect it is having on them or others, and then judge. For example, I have decided that the Palestinians are a messed up people, who are completely wrong on just about every issue – and not just their strained relationship with their neighbors to the west. Someone once quipped that they have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Now, if someone were to offer me evidence that my judgment was incorrect, I would certainly change it. In the case of the Palestinians, I think this is unlikely. And that doesn’t mean that I will never criticize Israel.

You might say that this is likely evidence that I am a white, not very “crypto” phallocentric oppressor of subaltern guano farmers. And you’d be right. The only thing that I hate more than Peruvian Guano Farmers is Dirty Hippies. And Norwegians.

[posted by Buckethead]:
Do you smell...

...wet dog?

[posted by johnny two-cents]:
Speaking of Dirrty Bombaz

Here's a Friday treat-- a very special portrait of the original Dirrty Bomb.


[posted by johnny two-cents]:
Today, right now, it's all about Bun E. Carlos. Go, Bun E., go!

[posted by johnny two-cents]:
Aid and Comfort Redux

Now that it's light out and the animal side of me is safely asleep until the next waning gibbous moon, I reread your post below and realize that you're just giving aid/comfort to your friends, who are not really the enemy! Good on me for being quick on the uptake.

Nevertheless, I stand by what I wrote. I have been talking to a lot of good people who neither think that the President is stupid nor think he stole the election, and who still don't agree with the decision to go into Iraq. That's not to claim that "if some people believe it, it must be true", or otherwise I would find myself defending pet psychics and supply-side economists, and that's just crazy talk. But, if a large number of reasonable, intelligent people with whom I interact, and not just in the Berklee East in which I live, do not feel persuaded by the arguments and evidence thus far presented, I feel compelled to investigate that.

I don't know. Maybe it's just my training as a "cultural historian." For years I have successfully fought the peer pressure to see every conflict as a struggle for hegemony, and to always favor the "subaltern" point of view against the erectile opression of the cryptophallocentric majority. (I studied "subaltern history" once. All it taught me was that Peruvian guano exports were the only way in which highland indigenous populations were tied to the colonial government of Peru. Guano. In Peru. Guano!)

But, in the interest of being fair, and owing to the fact that my hawk side has grown more feeble in the last two weeks, I want to hear what the hoopla is all about, from the quiet ones in the back who are being drowned out by the earnest mouth-breathers from the Popular People's Front of Interesting Facial Hair and the International Coalition For The Admiration Of Che's Sexy, Sexy Portrait.

Thursday, March 13, 2003
[posted by johnny two-cents]:
I repeat: Spring is when the short shorts come out.

C'mon, spring! C'mon, spring! Three inches of snow... what the?

C'mon, spring!

[posted by johnny two-cents]:
Aid And Comfort
Don't blow a gasket, chimpy. Waving a couple signs in the general direction of Congress is no more giving aid and comfort to the enemy than my wiping my ass is destroying the rain forests. I'm exactly as disgusted as you are at the brain-deprived, pablum-puking flower children who claim that "War Never Solved Anything" or "Bush=Nazi" or allow those DMF's in A.N.S.W.E.R. to dominate the antiwar discussion. But, dissent is part of life in the USA, and, the Stalinists aside, a lot of good people are against the war. Don't always understand the arguments, but there they are.

On partial birth abortion
The reason I oppose a ban on "Partial Birth Abortion" is because it, unlike "regular" abortion, cannot be used as a contraceptive measure, but is instead performed when, and only when, those extremely rare, extremely dire, circumstances occur that both baby and mother will die otherwise. This isn't about when the condom breaks-- it is instead the last of the last of the last resorts-- and outlawing it is an empty gesture, enacted only because the larger issue of abortion is still too hotly contested.

Soon to come: my thoughts on life during wartime, and also songs about buildings and food.

Also soon to come: happier things about puppies, balloons, and how awesome Spring is when the short shorts come out.

[posted by Buckethead]:

Buckethead on France

Tomorrow, my thoughts on the French... A post like this can go one of two ways: three words, or three thousand. We'll see.

[posted by Buckethead]:
Giving Aid and Comfort to the Enemy

Well, not really the enemy. But several friends from Ohio are coming out to participate in the planned anti war protest on the mall in Washington this Saturday. Naturally, working in downtown DC as I do, I had no idea that there was a protest scheduled. To be more accurate, I had no idea that it was an antiwar protest. There's always some kind of protest. Usually attended by dirty hippies. As Johno will attest, I hate hippies. (For a heart-warming story about dirty hippies, see this)

Since it would be rude to go to the protest with them - I would only heckle the dirty hippy protesters - I will, in the spirit of sane and calm public discourse, go paint my new house like a good Republican homeowner. If anyone reading this has ever wondered why only liberals protest, there's your answer.

(I did keep referring to the protest as the "Pro-Saddam rally." I couldn't resist. I'll probably start quoting Orwell's thoughts on the pacifists in WWII when they arrive tomorrow night.)

[posted by Buckethead]:
I've had a busy day at work, so now, finally, an opportunity to post...

In re: Arthur Silber and Johno's concerns about Franco-American relations:

Much of the delay in America's war plans is a direct result of French obstructionism. Between these delays, allowing more time for Saddam to prepare for our invasion; and the French supplying spare parts for Saddam's military through shady third parties in Dubai; we can lay some of the blame for any American casualties directly on the door of the French.

Another major aspect of delays from the American side is consideration for Blair's political health. I think many of the pro war conservatives and moderates are aware of this, as am I, and while frustrated are not necessarily blaming W.

As for the Partial Birth Abortion ban, while it may offend liberals who tend to be absolutist on abortion issues generally, is not so unreasonable. Whatever you may think of early term abortion, letting a baby be (almost) born, and then stabbing it in the head before it comes out is, literally, inches from infanticide. If the baby is that close to being born, I can't imagine any situation where the mother's health would require a doctor to kill a baby that is already nearly out of the mother already.

BTW, there are antiwar social conservatives. For example, Mennonites and Catholics.

In re: Sucking up to tyrants:

I would certainly agree with a toned down version of Peter's argument. The rest of his article is more dispassionate. I posted it it because it was some wonderful bile. However, Boston College is a small institution that does not represent millions of people. The government of France does.

In re: Missy Elliot:

Did you notice the "heh"?

In re: Moran and Buchanan:

It was, "Deranged Mongoloid F*ckwits," originally; but that works, too. Buchanan long ago lost my respect, and even longer ago ceased to be anything that could remotely called conservative. The only accurate political labels I can think of for dear Pat are from the nineteenth century - I keep expecting him to start yelling about free silver or something. Moran, my very own congressman, is a complete jackhole. 'Nuff said. But one thing that blows my mind is the inability of the anti war left to see that by opposing "America's War" they are supporting a repugnant thug who is against everything they claim to stand for. That by supporting Saddam, they are calling for the continued oppression of the Iraqi people. Then, on top of it all, they plaster bizarre conspiracy theories and outmoded slogans. Aaaaggghhh.

In re: Shoe bomber:

Jose Padilla is a Deranged Mendacious F*ckwit and traitor. Therefore, he deserves a scrupulously fair trial followed by the hangman's noose. If we had caught him overseas, different rules might have applied, but we didn't.

[posted by johnny two-cents]:

Arthur Silber over at "Light of Reason" has some very tart words for the Pars-dent. Touching on partial-birth abortions and Iraq, Arthur offers this money quote:

Leave aside for the moment your views on the partial birth abortion bill, and focus on the following instead. By his endless "dance of death" with the U.N. (and that phrase might be all too accurate, in terms of the cost in American lives the longer these delays go on), Bush alienates the pro-war conservatives and moderates, and even the pro-war liberals. By his support of the partial birth ban, Bush alienates the social moderates and liberals -- as he also does by his support for measures such as the "faith-based initiative."

So exactly what constituencies does that leave him? Well, let's see...oh, I know: anti-war social conservatives.

Yeah, lots of those. Good luck, George. You'll need it.
By the way-- the newly-passed Senate "partial-birth abortion" bill does not include an exemption for cases where the mother's life is at risk.

[posted by johnny two-cents]:
Bucket, I'm not sure that painting European leaders as pimps and Clintons is exactly constructive, or apt. I mean, I'm on your side in this, and the worst that can be said about Chirac or Schroeder is that they are dim, small-minded calculating opportunists. And in the sucking-up-to-tyrants department, let's not forget that Boston College recently gave a visiting professorship to a former dictator, with more to come.

[posted by johnny two-cents]:
Who is Missy Elliott??? Who is Missy Elliott?!?!.

Musi ques
I sews on bews
I pues a twos on que zat
Pue zoo
My kizzer
Pous zigga ay zee
Its all kizza
Its always like
Its all kizza
Its always like
Na zound
Wa zee
Wa zoom zoom zee
It's alllll kizza, alright?

[posted by johnny two-cents]:
If "the Jews" really ran the world, don't you think they'd give themselves better PR? This crap with Moran and Buchanan is just utterly, weepingly, stupid. As the WaPost puts it:
There are plenty of good reasons to be against bombing Baghdad. But to portray President Bush's heartfelt desire to rid the world of a dictator and his weapons of mass destruction as part of a Jewish conspiracy is, somehow, insulting.

Damn straight.
As someone who does have misgivings about the Iraq portion of "America's New War" (thanks, CNN!), it gets harder and harder to defend those misgivings when one batch of crazies is bent on making everything about Oil, Stalin, and Hitler, and another batch of crazies is willing to blame some "International Jewish Conspiracy." I believe in Buckethead's words that makes them all 'mendacious f*ckwits.'

Sounds about right.

[posted by johnny two-cents]:
Dirrty Bombaz

Those who know me know that I worry about some recent actions taken by the US Justice Department. So far, the USA PATRIOT Act has pretty much failed to change the game either way, though its full potential both for good and eeeevil remains to be proven. But the proposed "PATRIOT II" on the horizon is a much different, much scarier, matter that I'm sure I'll get all red-faced about in future posts.

One of the central unspoken values of American society is the ability for citizens to live free from fear of their government. Indeed, this is one of the features of "by/of/for the people." However, with certain recent actions by the Justice Department to extend the powers of the executive, I feel that, for me at least, this freedom is being threatened, and in the most petty and pointless ways, and it could get worse. But I digress. More also about hashpipes, websites, and packet sniffing to come, lucky you.

Anyway, the good news on this front is that, according to the New York Times, Jose Padilla (Mr. Dirrty Bomb) will be allowed to see his lawyer. This is a good thing. Padilla, though he may be a low-life, is still an American citizen, and unless he is convicted of treason, he will remain one. Most heartening is that the judge hearing the case admonished the Justice Department,

"Lest any confusion remain, this is not a suggestion or a request that Padilla be permitted to consult with counsel, and it is certainly not an invitation to conduct a further `dialogue' about whether he will be permitted to do so. It is a ruling -- a determination -- that he will be permitted to do so," the judge said."
Hopefully, this indicates a trend in which judges question the Justice Department's efforts to designate US citizens "enemy combatants" and thereby automatically suspend their civil rights. Citizenship is a basic gift, and to allow the government to suspend it at will is to cheapen what it means for everyone. If Jose Padilla was really trying to set off a Dirrty Bomb, and if the government really has evidence strong enough to convict, then the Justice Department has nothing to fear from letting the system work.

[posted by johnny two-cents]:
A Family Affair

As I've mentioned in the past, though not in this forum, the current state of US-French diplomacy worries me badly. This feeling has only been amplified by the events of the past week. Now that France is nakedly out to take the US down a peg or two, regardless of what ends they use to achieve this goal, and given that the Bush administration seems daily less decisive on the issue of Iraq, the stakes seem to be rising out of all proportion with the situation.

Steven Den Beste posted an article a few weeks ago here, arguing that the current diplomatic crisis is the result of a culture clash between Western Europe and the USA. Despite some factual errors in the piece brought to my attention by a good friend, I tend to agree with overarching theme. Whereas Bill Clinton was awfully fond of the intimate dance of empty postures that composes so much of international diplomacy, the Bush administration discards them altogether and declares "here we stand." This approach is fine, insofar as it removes all doubt as to motive and strategy, but it is totally out of step with the way things are done across the ocean (moral judgement not implied). It's like putting John Wayne from "The Green Berets" into a production of Hamlet. Both are perfectly great on their own terms, but they don't mix so good.

Side note: Bill Clinton has a jive on him. I mean, GOD, I hear him talk, I know he's full of sh*t, but I just can't... stop... myself from wanting to believe him. It's uncanny. And it's dangerous.

I am currently in the middle of John Keegan's The First World War and it has reminded me that Europe, united by centuries-long ties of trade and rule, tends to act like a large, close-knit family. Sure they may squabble, sure they may occasionally try to annihilate one another, but at the core they are a unit with a shared outlook that shapes the way they interact with the world and each other. When faced with an outsider, they tend to react as a whole regardless of their differences. (Interestingly, the former Communist nations tend not to share in this family affair. Huh.) Obviously, since the US's heyday has not included sharing ground with our big brothers, we tend to put less stock in the opinions of other states.

But where exactly is this going to end? From this morning's Wall Street Journal, it appears that France may be willing to achieve its diplomatic reascendency at the potential cost of American lives. Now, although that's not the same as actually killing Americans, it's not exactly the opposite either. (Good analysis of this over at Chicagoboyz.) Of course, that analysis implies that France will be at fault if the US invades Iraq, which is only true if Iraq has been buying French arms. (Hmm. Any proof of that?)

At best (for the USA), the current crisis could result in a complete vindication of US motives and methods, with a concomitant humbling of the French. But at worst, if things take a bad hop, Bush et. al may find themselves in the position of having squandered American diplomatic credibility and decades of goodwill over-- what? A tinpot dictator of a second-rate nation whose connection to "War On Terror 2K3" remains unproven to many both here and abroad. And that would just SUCK.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003
[posted by Buckethead]:
A quote from Ralph Peters, who is very pissed off in this article :

We Americans can expect neither gratitude, understanding nor support from the baroque regimes of France, Germany and their fellow travelers. Chancellor Schroeder? Bill Clinton without the moral fiber. President Chirac? The mouth of de Gaulle, the soul of Petain, and the morals of a pimp. Humanitarian Belgium? Yeah, just ask the Congolese. The European anti-war movement? Necrophiliacs licking the corpse of Josef Stalin.

Europeans will always be willing to weep over the dead. The United States must take a stand for the living. In Iraq. And beyond.

Mr. Peters is ordinarily much less vitriolic, but the whole article is a good read, as well as most of his other work. Check out the USS Clueless' Essential library for two conveniently accessible examples.

I think I will adopt his description of Chirac as my personal motto. It goes along with my "Are we not men, we are Devo" kind of worldview.

[posted by Buckethead]:
Who is Missy Elliot? Hehe.

[posted by Buckethead]:

Queerly, just as I was riding up the elevator after a refreshing nicotine break, thinking that despite a full time job, the endless labor of preparing my new house for moving into, and my old house for moving out of, and writing the great american novel in my spare time, and a wife preparing to give birth to our first offspring in two months, "now would be the right time to start a blog;" I got an email from my dear friend Johno, inviting me to join his blog.

He therefore has my eternal gratitude for saving me the effort of creating one myself. He is my hero. At least until someone else does something nice for me.

Like Johno, I am from Ohio. However, I am rather further to the right, politically speaking. Also, I am sans college degrees, though many people have called me the smartest "C" student they ever met. (In my defense, I did once get a 3.85 average one semester. It would have been a 4.0 if someone had warned me that the only way to get an A in Hale Chatfield's English classes was to write term papers on the topic of sex or death or both. I got a B+ on the mid term, recovered for the final, but the fat jerk still gave me a B+ for the class. But enough complaining.) I like long walks in the park, playing with puppies, and am a Gemini. I also think that astrology is horseshit

I fully agree with Johno on the politics, culture and stupid shit manifesto, though I should like to add "things that explode" to the list.

[posted by johnny two-cents]:
Ok, not ALL about the Missi Elliott

Just mostly. It's also very much about "Do You Know The Difference Between Big Wood And Brush: The American Song Poem Anthology". As a very astute review in the Observer noted, this 28-song collection is like a phantom radio transmission from what Greil Marcus called the "old, weird America."

ve been trying to explain this to people, and I just can't. I end up reduced to gestures, incapable of explaining exactly what's go great-- just that it is.

Go out and pick this up, support the good peopel at Bar/None records, and let your mind unwind to such gems as "Jimmy Carter Says 'Yes'," "Blind Man's Penis," and "Maker of Smooth Music."

[posted by johnny two-cents]:
Question? Problem? Want to tell me about it, for all the good it will do ya? I may be reached at toastdog-at-juno-dot-com.

What the hell was I thinking?
Because my compadre Buckethead and I have been having some fascinating (to us) discussions via email that we felt would better fit the format of a weblog. Also, in case we ever wish to run for public office, we want to have a clearinghouse for our enemies who wish to use our own words against us. We believe in convenience. Finally, because I sort of miss being in graduate school and participating in mindless theoretical discussions about senseless minutiea.

This weblog is about three things: politics, culture, and stupid sh*t, though not necessarily in that order. I am fanatical in my devotion to the majesty of rock and the mystery of roll, the genius of Jackie Chan, and the ability of the American polity, through sheer mass and insensibility, to withstand even the most vigorous assaults from within and without.

Just who the hell do I think I am?
I was born in Ohio on the eve of Nixon's resignation. After this inauspicious beginning, and an excruciating career in Ohio's public school system, I decamped for a slightly different part of Ohio, and college. Seven years later, I woke up with a hangover, a tattoo, and a graduate degree in US History.

A recent veteran of the entertainment industry, which I found neither glamorous nor entertaining, I now work at one of the more august institutes of higher learning around. Not telling which one. I think I'm so damn smart.

I am a centrist. Being brought up in post-industrial Ohio tends to imbue one with a certain innate sense of pragmatism that not even the fiercest postmodern assaults have been able to shake free. But, I’m also an intellectual chauvanist, an optimist, and kind of an asshole. I have seen the worst that both the Left and Right have to offer, and I have thoroughly enjoyed mocking them both. Hence, this forum. Goody for me.

Missy Elliott is the funk queen of the Universe. For shizzo.

[posted by johnny two-cents]:

The PM of Serbia has been assassinated in Belgrade. Let's hope this time is different from the last time, mmkay?

Tuesday, March 11, 2003
[posted by johnny two-cents]:
First post!