Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Dec 2000:THE ARENA
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Archive through October 8, 2000  62   10/08 02:05am

By Chrysippvs on Friday, October 20, 2000 - 09:36 am: Edit

I have always heard it either pronounced as "Ahb-Sant" and I usually pronounce it that way..As for Thujone I always assumed it was "Tuzshone" with the J like the russian "Zsh" sound..I think French has it is hard to say what is right..

By Petermarc on Friday, October 20, 2000 - 12:31 am: Edit

yes, don, i prefer to pronounce "absinthe" in the
same way and the french have no idea what i'm talking is like being in the twilight
zone when i ask about it "absinthe?" two minutes
of attempted pronunciation later.. ahhh "obSANt"
yes, that's what i said! merde!

By Don_walsh on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 05:54 pm: Edit

Thanks but I will persist in my anglicized pronunciation, bust as I usually say 'abSINthe' rather than 'abSAHNthe'

By Petermarc on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 02:26 pm: Edit

the french are incapable of pronouncing "th"
without years of it is "too-joan" according to my wife

By Don_walsh on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 02:00 pm: Edit

The French spelling is 'thuyone' and the origin is from the white cedar tree, the thuja. Remember, a white cedar was planted at Van Gogh's grave by his doctor. Thujone is pronounced (in English) with soft palate 'thoo-joan' with emphasis on first syllable and the second syllable pronounced like the name. At least that's the way I do it.

I assume thuja in French is 'thuya'.

The thujone in white cedar is reason why cedar chests are used to store clothing for protection against insects. Interesting that such a homely smell from our childhoods is labelled as a nasty toxin isn't it?

By Tabreaux on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 12:34 pm: Edit

Unless the 'thuj' in thujone has a French origin (I can't recall) , the 'th' should be pronounced.

By Bob_chong on Thursday, October 19, 2000 - 11:24 am: Edit

Is it pronounced "thu-jone" or "too-jone" or some other way completely?



By Bob_chong on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 03:57 pm: Edit

I dig the early MOI stuff, too. Weasels Ripped My Flesh and Live at the Fillmore East are two of my faves.


By Marc on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 03:51 pm: Edit

I liked Zappas early stuff with The Mothers Of Invention. I also dug the Ruben and The Jets album. The later Zappa albums were to artsy and indulgent. Zappa may not have been a hippie, but he was a freak.

Where's Suzy Creamcheese?

By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 02:54 pm: Edit

Bob Chong,

VU, a superb band, not a tree-hugger amongst them. Well before their time. The godfathers of Punk.


By Marc on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:54 pm: Edit


no apologies necessary. This is The Arena, home of "tough love". See you over in asbstos underwear.

By Bob_chong on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:52 pm: Edit

I don't think Zappa hated everyone, but he sure hated hypocrites. Had no tolerance for hippies, either, which made him instantly attractive to me. The VU hated hippies, too. FWIW, there's a Zappa song in which a whispered voice mentions that the VU is "as shitty a group as Frank Zappa's group," or something like that.

But if you don't like Zappa, so be it. I'm not trying to tell you to listen to Zappa...just refuting that he was pure negativity.


By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:38 pm: Edit



You couldn't wait more than THREE MINUTES to make a mockery of my shepherding efforts?


By Artemis on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:27 pm: Edit

"Any Zappa fans out there, show me the light!"

Listen to "Overnight Sensation". If that doesn't do it for you, I don't know what to say.

"She had that Camarillo brillo
flamin out acrost her head
I mean, her Mendocino beano
From where some bugs had made it red ..."

Frank Zappa was a dark star, burning with the light of a thousand suns. Or was it a burnt weenie sandwich?

By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:24 pm: Edit


By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:24 pm: Edit


By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:23 pm: Edit


By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:23 pm: Edit


By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:22 pm: Edit


By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:21 pm: Edit

OK, for those who don't like to use the scroll tab, I am going to attempt to move THE ARENA.

A fresh start.



By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:19 pm: Edit


It appears I've mis-judged you. You have my apologies.


By Don_walsh on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:16 pm: Edit

Yep, go back and see what Bayer sold heroin for in the first place. It is a great antitussive (as is codeine for same reasons). So it isn't that junkies don't get colds. They get the viral infection all right. They just don't get the symptoms.

By _blackjack_ on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:10 pm: Edit

Yup, Weird Uncle Bill hawked Nikes a few years before he died. And, barring overdose or infection, one can sustain a heroin habit for many decades. Unlike, say, alcohol, heroin in-and-of itself doesn't do much in the way of systemic organ damage. Personality damage is another matter...

And junkies don't get colds...

By Don_walsh on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 01:00 pm: Edit

I suppose you mean Wm.Burroughs a la Naked Lunch? He did a Nike commercial? Junkies must live forever (pre-HIV). Anyway he didn't have to sell out, his family owns the business machine company of the same name. And a lot of the book was a spoof of the CIA, esp his old pal J.Angleton (whose family owns NCR) and who used to run things in Rome in the 40s -- the community of US expats who own major corporations being a small select one. Angleton published a poetry journal called FURIOSO and was a buddy of Ezra Pound's.

By _blackjack_ on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 12:54 pm: Edit

Yeah, well, I've never been in the position of having anybody offer me $250,000 for anything, so I can hardly judge. Hell, Burroughs did a Nike commercial. The way I see it, one can only be accused of "selling out" if one consciously changes one's work just to get more money. If one does whatever one would otherwise be doing, and suddenly people start giving one money for it, hey, bonus.

And only a hypocrite would try to deny that we're all basically hypocrites...

By Don_walsh on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 12:24 pm: Edit

Gen.Ambrose 'Bitter' Bierce CSA was a great writer, a middling journalist and a giften commander and he came by his cynicism honestly. Losing a war and paying the price for the defeat will do that to one. I don't think he was a blackguard. I think he was an idealist who life had beaten the crap out of.

You probably know he diasppeared in northern Mexico after spending considerable time with Francisco 'Pancho' Villa.

By Marc on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 12:00 pm: Edit


The Mazda automobile company paid me $250,000
for the right to use "88 Lines". I wasn't pleased with myself for allowing my song to be used in a
television commercial. I hate the way corporations
have co-opted rock and roll to sell merchandise.
But, the money has helped me to continue making
records that are uncompromising and raw. But, no matter how I try to justify it, I am a hypocrite.

From the day I bought my first pair of Beatle
boots (1964), I've wanted to be cool. I'd rather be a cool poor man than a rich square.


There's alot of things I've done in my life that
I can't and won't talk to you about. I've done jail time because of my beliefs. A lengthy stratch of time. This is not a boast. Sitting in a cell in Oakland California was a terrifying and
soul-shaping experience. Losing yer freedom because of how you live and what you think is a true test of your committment to your beliefs and ideals. Don't waste your time criticizing someone
that you obviously have no repect for. Do something creative. Write a poem, a song or get laid.

By Billynorm on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 10:27 am: Edit


Frank Zappa was a cynic in the Ambrose Bierce definition of the word: "a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they should be."


There's got to be a better way to post on threads that dangle down to the center of the Earth as this one seems to do. (I'm a lazy sod, I admit it!)

By _blackjack_ on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 09:52 am: Edit

Waitaminnit...Marc, you're THAT Marc? From the Nails? Forgive me for not paying attention. I'm sorry folks, but he's got us beat. He really is cooler than the rest of us.

What the fuck is up with them using "88 Lines" in that damn car commercial?

By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 09:16 am: Edit


Get back to your collection of dead animal pieces.


By Absinthedrinker on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 08:39 am: Edit

As the man said "I'm the one who's gonna die when its time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to."

Play on Jimmy

By Admin on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 08:23 am: Edit

Unabashed plug:

"Voting Tips for the Disaffected" ...

By Black_rabbit on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 07:27 am: Edit


I find your life story as revealed here to be damn inspiring. I am glad to have met you (if only electronically. And I mean this *non* sarcastically and with complete sincerity in case anyone is wondering.)

I don't think Marc was trying to say he was the coolest dude on the planet. There is pride in his post, and there damn well should be. He has lived his life as he would live it, and whether you agree with his choices or not, you gotta admire that.

I don't think there are many on this board who *don't* have the guts to do that. We do it in different ways, which is good as this place would be boring if it was all 'yeah, right on!'

I have a friend who thinks Zappa Is God, and he helped me to appreciate Zappa... but for my money, he boils down to very good music spiked with horrendous negativity. Like, he seems to be down on anything non-Zappa. He was down on hippies, he was down on punks, new wavers, surfers, jocks, hicks... pretty much everybody but good ol' Captain Beefheart. Am I wrong? Any Zappa fans out there, show me the light!

By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 07:08 am: Edit


Man, you really are a wet sock. (THAT, was an insult.) If you feel good about going through life thinking you are nothing but a drab and ordinary collection of particles, be my guest, but don't rain on Marc's parade. Some of us choose to view our lives as a grand adventure...


By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 06:00 am: Edit


You're not all that unique. Don't assume you're the only person on this forum to have to have taken a stand.

Being chased by the cops, selling a few Black Panther magazines, selling fake hash and going on a few anti Vietnam war demos doesn't make you the coolest most dangerous dude on the planet, (or even the Absinthe Forum).

You'd be surprised just how many people have been involved in a lot more serious activities than these.

By all means enjoy your memories but it doesn't make you something special.


By Marc on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 02:03 am: Edit


I meant "I've done things you've only read about" quite literally. You suggested that my post sounded like it was lifted from a Zappa song. Therefore, I assumed that your knowledge of early hippie culture was via books or music. You weren't there, either because of your age or disinterest. I was there and it was an exciting time.
Music, art, film, spirituality, sexuality...all of it opening up, flowering and full of energy.
I have always been in the midst of cultural and social change. From being a peace activist to being a punk provocateur. I see a direct lineage between my attempts to shake-up the status quo in the 60's to being the lead singer in an anarchic, hardass rock and roll band in the 70's, 80's and 90's. My band was one of the first American punk bands to create an independent record label and distribute it's music outside of the established
channels. My music has been anthologized on at least a half dozen punk and new wave compilation cds. At the end of the sixties I didn't retreat to a teepee in Northern California, I went looking for some new apple carts to upset. One of my best friends is Jello Biafra of the notorious punk band The Dead Kennedys. Jello is a perfect example of a hippie/punk. He's a political activist with high ideals, a dreamer and an agitator. Jello is part of a long tradition of hippie/punks going back to Alfred Jarry, Rimbaud,
Lenny Bruce, John Lennon, Jim Morrison...
Rage Against The Machine is a perfect example of a band that melds punk rock to hippie-style social activism and idealism. I think they're hypocrites, but so am I.
I live in New York City. The streets are teeming with young people in dreadlocked, crazy-colored and mohawked hair, wearing bell bottoms,
sandals and CLASH t-shirts. The walls have been broken down, kids are taking what they want from where ever they can get it . A little bit of this culture, a little bit of that. They see the connections, I see them. I'm 49, tattooed, hair down my back, living in an apartment I own (a hippie with money), surrounded by thousands of books, videos and cds.
I am a pop culture junkie. Why? Because books
(ON THE ROAD, HOWL), music (SGT. PEPPERS, THE VELVET UNDERGROUND)and film (DR. STRANGELOVE, COCTEAU'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) helped change my life in profound ways. I am a rock and roller because I want to stay tapped into the godhead
of electric bliss, the Akashic record that spins on the turntable of my consciousness. Hippie, punk, pacifist, vegan, tantric mojo man... whatever you want to call me is fine, just fine.
But, let me tell you this: as soon as you think you've got me nailed, I will surprise you. Don got it right. I am a chameleon. I love change.
But, unlike a chameleon, I refuse to receed into the background. I'm on a mission to leave a mark (marc), a stain on the lily white sheets of complacency. I am the spot that won't wash out.
The skidmark on the underwear of civility and decorum.

By Bob_chong on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 12:50 am: Edit


I thought you were writing a follow-up to "Who Needs the Peace Corps?"

You wrote: "some of us actually did the shit that you've only read about." I assume you meant the rhetorical "you," not me personally--but if you did mean me, I believe you did those things. But that doesn't make me admire, romanticize, or idolize you(r generation) in any way. Having done things I've "only read about," puts you in a class with war criminals and vivesectionists. My point is, claiming one's coolness by doing stuff others have only read about is weak. My dad used an outhouse. I've only read about it. Therefore, he's fucking cool and should be admired for his outhouse experience?

Ah, hell. I'm just showing some inter-generational animosity. Your generation has been the focus way too long. The great boomer die-off cannot come too soon. I am programmed to hate all things boomer. There are a few people worth saving, but not many. But the world is a better place every time a Firestone explodes on a boomer's SUV while they listen to the Big Chill soundtrack.

And I don't feel like defending Zappa. I mean, he's no Marc Campbell. His contributions to 20th century music will be but a footnote next to the Nails.


By Admin on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 11:43 pm: Edit

I grew up in Berkeley in the 70's & 80's, and trust me, there were many self described Punk Hippies. There was even a button (not that I advocate button/bumper sticker politics). Usually they were punks with political activist leanings. I even belonged to a group at school (only at Berkeley) of Punks against Nuclear [Whatever]. I think part of it at least was a hat tip to our parents, many of them hard core hippies (or at least hip). My graduating class was a large one, being born in 68 most of us were concieved during the "summer of love" ...

I do have my issues with babyboomer elitism, neo-hippidom, and the pc cop out (and alot of THAT stemming from a reaction against the environment in which I grew up, I'm sure).

But not you Marc, I find you strangely alluring. We have to get more girls in here for you to scare with your armadillo.

Trust me, if there was ever a Punk Hippy, its Marc.

"Punk is Dead" is such a punk slogan, just like calling everything you don't like "facist" (which I still do for hoots). Nothing is ever really dead, it is doomed to be relived, revived as long as people look for clues to their identity from those who have gone before. I see urchins on the corner (the same ones *I* used to inhabit) with grubby faces and spikey hair and think "Aren't they cute. They don't really have a clue, do they?" (and they probably look at me and think "wanker") ... its all identification and inspiration. After the "quiet period" on the 70's and early 80's many of the hard core gladly announced their 60's music influence in their own careers, at which point it became derigeur to be derivative.

I always feel like such a liar when I ramble ...

By Marc on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 09:36 pm: Edit


that bio is just a small hunk of my life. It's all true. Believe it or not man, some of us actually did the shit that you've only read about.
Fuck Zappa. I'm a Lenny Bruce fan. Zappa, like most ironists, lacked real passion.

By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 08:22 pm: Edit


I realize you're a frenchman and all, but those philosophers would turn anyone off to philosophy. Try the Germans. I think you could use a dose of Nietzsche. I suggest "The Birth of Tragedy" and "Beyond Good and Evil" and "The Twilight of the Idols". Get the Hollingdale translations if you can, as the Kaufmann translations lack poetry.


By Bob_chong on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 05:20 pm: Edit


Are you sure you didn't lift that bio from a Zappa song?


By _blackjack_ on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 05:00 pm: Edit


Amen, brother. My friends (a few decades younger than you) have strongly re-embraced the term "freak" as an inclusive term for all folk who are "not like others." Too much time is spent drawing borders within the countercultures, keeping us from being able to serve our real purpose, which is to expand the froneirs of human experience. I have freinds who fit every description, from gutter punks to cellege professors. For my money, "freak" is about not being afraid, in fact embracing of new ideas, which is a much better definition than any association of music or clothes.

Shit. Now I sound like a hippie. Umm...Oi oi oi! Smash the state! That's better.

PS: Can you intorduce me to Jello?

By Jkk on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 03:11 pm: Edit

As a refreshing change to politically-correct
Nirvana, you should venture south of your border
for a glimpse of white/ghetto trash hell! As you
can see, I'm politically incorrect, and I won't
tell you that the whites here are animals, but the
blacks aren't.

Lost in the wilderness,


By Marc on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 03:08 pm: Edit

I grew up in the American south. As a young man I read poetry, everything by Poe, and wrote it. While other kids were tooling around in their cars and gettin woozy on 3.2 beer,I was exploring Tibetan mysticism, Zen and the lives of the saints. At the age of 15 I started growing my hair long. I became the only longhair at my high school and was expelled for refusing to cut it.
My father, a high-ranking military officer, threw me out of the house. I went to the nearest freeway entrance ramp and hitchhiked from Virginia to San Francisco. The year:1966. The trip took me three days. Along the way I was beat-up, had things thrown at me from passing cars,
was chased by cops...Being a "hippie" in America
in the mid-60's was not a ride in the park. The Vietnam war was raging and having longhair was the equivalent of wearing a bullseye on your back.
In San Francisco, I slept where I fell, sold the Black Panther newspaper to make a few bucks and dealt fake hash to the tourists. My parents were desperate to have me return home. And home was a beautiful house on several acres of suburbia. Had I returned home and to school, I would eventually have been rewarded with my own car and the money to go to college. Instead, I chose to continue my adventures travelling and experiencing as much of life as I could. I lived in Berkeley during the People's Park riots. I lived in an abandoned saw mill in Santa Cruz. I hitchhiked all over the United States, meeting truckers, truckstop waitresses, Seventh Day Adventists, writers, musicians and drunks. All this before turning 18.
I spent as much time in latenight diners drinking coffee with Vietnam vets as I did hugging trees.
I marched on the Pentagon, along with Norman Mailer, Ginsberg and The Fugs. I lived for 3 months in an army surplus parachute that I hung up
in an abandoned square-dancehall in Los Gatos. I lived off of brown rice, rolled oats and benzedrine. I've been an anarchist, buddhist, celibate, acidhead, rock and roller, poet... a full-fledged freak in a world that doesn't take kindly to hippies,punks, prophets or divine lunatics. So, you can call me whatever you want.
The bottom line is, I've always stuck to my guns, I've tried not sell out, I've never worked for anyone and I have been fearless in my pursuit of
knowledge thru direct experience. And I'm still letting my freak flag fly. Call me a middle-aged hippie. I wear the title with honor.

By _blackjack_ on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 02:53 pm: Edit

I'd hardly say Punk is dead. It has certainly evolved greatly from its origins, especially in the US but it still exists and is far more of a coherent subculture and communitywith values, shared symbols, etc. than it was in 1979. But I suppose that's a matter of definitions. Some (like John Lydon) claim it never existed at all.

As far as hippies and punks, well, tho hostility did, and does, exist between the two types of ideolody, they are related. They are part of the same countercultural movement, the same rebellion against mainstream society. Remember that the Beats felt a great deal of hostility towards early Hippies, too. I'm the first person to mock the naive idealism of Hippydom, but I know that, when push-comes-to-shove, they are on the same side of the line that I am. I'm just the type that shoves back...

By Black_rabbit on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 01:50 pm: Edit

That's what I'm trying to say. What you do you mean exactly when you say 'punk'? Do you mean a person with odd taste in fashion who challenges established norms aggressively and shockingly?

What do you mean by hippy?

This will go nowhere without defined terms.

Also, how can a set of ideas (punk) be dead? If somebody thinks that way (whatever way it is,) are they not a punk?

By Artemis on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 01:43 pm: Edit

"In The Arena, the size of your sexual organ is very important. You may have to use it as as a weapon."

I don't know about no arena, but down here in the woods, we like to say "Squeal like a pig ...."
Has it really been lost on everybody here that most of Marc's posts are intended to lighten the f-ing mood and make everybody back up a step and LAUGH at himself? I can easily forgive Marc any errors of logic, consistency, etc. in the process. Carry on, Marc, you crazy bastard. Not everybody has the balls to don the Jester's cap.

"Marc, do you come from a small town originally? See, I come from the Upper Midwestern US, where there aren't enough freaks of any type to support more than one subculture. When punk rock happened, the hippies had to do double duty as punks. This is where "jam bands", "alt-country" and "grunge" came from."

Well put. Having been through the evolution from Hippy to punk appreciator (if not punk), I see it as a perfectly natural progression. And the point about small towns is dead on. When you exist in that cultural stasis, it's sort of like "Black Easter" (James Blish). If you got rid of God, who more qualified to take his place than Lucifer?

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 01:37 pm: Edit


There is a difference between liking Punk music and being a Punk. I've never said Marc was a Hippy, if he is then he is, if someone likes Punk music then he does, but this doesn't make him a Punk.

Punk died out in the late 70's. It was an artistic rebellious movement in the UK and the music was simply one aspect of it.

Anatomist, you fail to be grasp the fact that PUNK IS DEAD and the values of the Punk movement in the past were the values of the Punk movement. This has absolutely nothing to do with whether one likes Punk music or not. I like Punk music but I am not a Punk, (I may have been 25 years ago).

It is not about musical tastes. It is possible to be a Hippy and like Punk music. It is not possible to be a Hippy and be a Punk (even when Punk existed).

You fail to grasp this point.


By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 01:15 pm: Edit


Have you ever considered taking an introductory course in formal logic? Did you learn your version from old Star Trek episodes?

For someone who keeps touting the omnipotent virtues of it, your arguments are hideously convoluted morasses of illogic. You better hope Bertrand Russell's grave isn't anywhere near your house, or you may get a surprise visit from an angry zombie.

Your original implied argument went something like this:

In historical period 'x' punkers hated hippies
Marc is a hippy
Marc likes a punk band
Therefore, Marc's existence is self contradictory

Black Rabbit's comments were experiential counterexamples intended to point out that in fact the behavior of a group of people in the past does not imply the mutual exclusivity of musical tastes and behavior styles in the present: that's all. Then you gear up you mystickal logick machine again, and tear into him. The results are too messy to analyze...


By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 01:14 pm: Edit

Perruche Verte,

Definitely not SPGB, I have no time for Stalinists.


By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 01:10 pm: Edit

Black Rabbit,

Just correcting an error in my last post, I meant to say "Punk died in the late 70's" not the late 80's.


(Don't worry Don, I'm not amassing an army ready to invade. I believe in persuasion not coercion.)

By Perruche_verte on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 01:09 pm: Edit

Marc, do you come from a small town originally? See, I come from the Upper Midwestern US, where there aren't enough freaks of any type to support more than one subculture. When punk rock happened, the hippies had to do double duty as punks. This is where "jam bands", "alt-country" and "grunge" came from. (Seattle didn't really invent grunge. Half of those people were Midwestern refugees anyway.)

Don Walsh, thanks for the succinct description of U.S. foreign policy. All the people of the world are entitled to democracy and freedom of opinion, unless they become Marxists, of course (or radical Islamists, the other variety of "rogue state" -- whoops, that term was just retired, wasn't it?), and decide not to provide the US cheap natural resources, cheap labor or military bases. Then we have them killed. Since Vietnam we tend not to do the dirty work ourselves, with a few exceptions.

My problems with this approach are what make me a left libertarian and not a right libertarian. I'm less concerned with the government stealing my money to feed the occasional welfare leech than I am about the unexploded ordinance in Laos that blows someone's leg off every other day, or the Iraqi children dying from bad water because Saddam might make poison gas if we let him import chlorine. I am forced to pay for those crimes too, and the bill runs a lot higher.

Hobgoblin, what variety of Marxist are you? ISO?SPGB? ICFI? Don't worry, we're good comrades, I'm sure, so long as we don't talk about Russia or Spain... ;-)

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 12:56 pm: Edit

Black Rabbit,

When Punk was in existence, (it died in the late 80's) Hippies were one of their prime objects of scorn and derision hence the Sex Pistols lyric "never trust a hippy who the killed Bambi". Punk was a rebellious movement not only against the establishment but also against the "Peace & Love" Hippy movement.

Just because someone listens to Punk, (or Hippy) music doesn't make them a Punk, (or a Hippy).

Weird hair is worn by lot's of differing people it doesn't make them alike. The fact that someone would let stranger crash at their place doesn't mean they are a Punk, Hippy (or Conservative for that matter).

The American administration have kicked lots of asses when they felt people deserved it, that doesn't make them Punks.

As to challenging convention, many many people and organisations have done this since the dawn of time, (and usually a lot more effectively than either Punks or Hippies).

Punks and Hippies are very different. At least Punks had energy and weren't a bunch of tree-hugging fairies.


By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 12:42 pm: Edit


Thanks for your award of "Gonzo Politico-Econmist of the Year", glad I've impressed.

Let's hope you're never called upon to bring about my death because as I've told you before firearms are not my strong point.

We've all got a right to our opinion and it's better not to hide.

Voltaire makes a great deal of sense.


By Black_rabbit on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 12:36 pm: Edit

Don, if you feel the need to kill anyone here, just please promise us for the love of god you won't do it with Marc's genitals. There are some things Man was not meant to see.

By Black_rabbit on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 12:26 pm: Edit

Lordhobgoblin, you can't really say he isn't a hippie punk unless you give us a good definition of the two. I have met people who listened to the Dead and the Pistols, had weird hair and would let you crash at their place even if you were a stranger. They would also kick your ass if they felt you deserved it, and challenged convention at every oppurtunity. Characteristics of both, at least by my definitions.

By Don_walsh on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 11:47 am: Edit

Jesus, Lord H. Anyone nuts enough to be a Marxist at this juncture, gets my vote for Gonzo Politico-Econmist of the Year.

I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to your opinion, up until the time I am or may be called upon to bring that death about.

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 11:34 am: Edit


I have better use for my sexual organ than to use it as a weapon in the "Arena", you obviously don't.

The day you engage in religious and political argument as opposed to puerile name calling I'll take back all the comments made in my last post.

As to the Hippy/Punk thing, you've described your self as a hippy in previous posts. Make up your mind.


By Marc on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 11:02 am: Edit


This is The Arena, a place for insults, poitically incorrect talk, religious and political argument etc. I'm not here to impress you with my intellect. I have read (and understand) Foucalt, Derrida. Lacan, Sartre, Bataille, Leary, Anton Wilson...But, I have found that most philosophies and religions are man chasing his own illusory tail. I come to the absinthe forum for pleasure. My posts in the Arena are intended to be mostly satirical, which, I guess you don't appreciate. Too bad.

As for the hippie/punk thing. I started my first band in 1976, a punk band. You can read about it on my website.

In The Arena, the size of your sexual organ is very important. You may have to use it as
as a weapon.

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 09:52 am: Edit

Black Rabbit,

Say what we think, fair enough.

"A Marxist and proud of it"


By Black_rabbit on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 09:36 am: Edit

Bob, I wasn't kidding there about Anatomist being right. At least in general- there is a big difference between actually being aware of other peoples perspectives and PC bullshit. PC is used to attempt to avoid giving offense, but it fails to actually change anyone's perspective. So you end up with people who say one thing and do another, with folks that have rainbow awareness bumper stickers and really hate gay people. And the dishonest nature of it is poison. One of my all time favorite movies, Fight Club, illustrates that very well.

Like, if I hate hispanic lesbian christian biker gangs or whatever, my pretending I don't does no good. I should say that I do, and *why* I do. That at least will open a dialogue and I will get their side of things... usually when that happens I find people end up at the least knowing where they stand and at the best changing their minds.

It's just that our culture doesn't have the balls to even *say* what it really thinks, much less stand up for it at this point. PC was one of the worst things to happen to western culture ever, IMO.

So yeah, he was right.

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 09:22 am: Edit

Marc, the confused middle-aged hippy who admires the Sex Pistols? ("Never trusts a hippy, who the F..k killed bambi.." Punk and Hippies didn't really mix well Marc). Has the intellect of a gnat and never gets involved in any debate. Throws in schoolboy insults and runs away. A man obsessed with the size of his dick, (probably to compensate for it's small size). Stay off the drugs Marc they're not doing you any good.

By _blackjack_ on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 08:55 am: Edit

It's a fact:

Listening the the Cramps makes you drive too fast. I've used it as a defense in court.

By Midas on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 07:07 am: Edit

Poison Ivy for president, or Lux Interior... either way I'm sure the army would eventually be required to wear 5 inch spike stilettoes, and black PVC would feature prominently on the national agenda. Bikini Girls with machine guns supervising at pedestrian crossings, brown liquors and amphetamines become food groups...
I'd love to see a country who's national anthem was 'Bend Over, I'll Drive'

By Marc on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 09:58 pm: Edit

Bob (the red menace)Chong,

I do not have large hips. I am a middle-aged hippie. My cock looks like an adult armadillo wearing flesh colored leotards and a purple beret.
I am a Met fan. We're going to the world series . Nothing bad about any of that.

Hey what kind of name is Chong? You're not some kind of Chinese guy are you? A commie? Korean?
Moonie? Have you infiltrated the absinthe forum in order to sow discord, confusion? To divide and conquer. Mr. Chong have you ever been a member of the communist party?

By Bob_chong on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 09:58 pm: Edit


If you hate Madison so much, why stay? I can't remember you ever saying anything good about it.


By Marc on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 09:57 pm: Edit

Bob (the red menace)Chong,

I do not have large hips. I am a middle-aged hippie. My cock looks like an adult armadillo wearing flesh colored leotards and a purple beret.
I am a Met fan. We're going to the world series . Nothing bad about any of that.

Hey what kind of name is Chong? You're not some kind of Chinese guy are you? A commie? Korean?
Moonie? Have you infiltrated the absinthe forum in order to sow discord, confusion? To divide and conquer. Mr. Chong have ever been a member of the communist party?

By Bob_chong on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 09:34 pm: Edit

It's bad enough that you're a middle-aged hippie (or "hippy" as you prefer, which connotes that you have big hips) and talk about your dick in half your posts...but a Mets fan? Ugh.


By Marc on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 07:01 pm: Edit

President Lux Interior.

I'm watching the Met game. And gloating.

By Anatomist1 on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 05:31 pm: Edit

I think Poison Ivy, of The Cramps, would make a dandy President.

By Anatomist1 on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 05:27 pm: Edit


I'm afraid I won't be able to join your group. You see, I'm an ardent environmentalist. As you know, the only serious solution to our environmental woes is population control, and I'm not talking about those little rubber things. In other words: Kill All Humans! To this end, I am currently engineering a self-replicating race of invincible robot-men to address this problem. In the mean time, all serious environmentalists must stand up and do the right thing: suicide.

As far as awareness-raising goes -- wrong again! Awareness was raised here in Madison about thirty years ago. Since that time, it has become leaden and sunk. Staring at the world for too long through the lens of racism, sexism, and homophobia leads to permanent blindness. Some of the more stellar 'awareness'-raising events in the recent history of Madison:

UW Admissions office uses photoshop to falsify cover photo of crowd at football game. Black student who hates football and has never been to a game stenciled in without his consent.

UW student groups collude with Dean's office to enact new 'Anonymous Complaint Boxes', faculty senate not consulted. Greivances of any type against anyone can be anonymously dropped in plain brown boxes around campus. All greivances are taken seriously, and put into a permanent record that can later be accessed through Open State Records Law. All accused parties will be confronted with the charges by student/staff group, having no specified redress or knowledge of their accuser's identity. Stated purpose of boxes: "To cut down on unreported racist, sexist, and homophobic incidents."

'Faculty Speech Code' enacted. Faculty members accused of saying anything insensitive, or anything that contributes to a climate of discomfort or intolerance in the classroom are brought before a committee and basically tried -- maximum penalty: termination. Among the examples of behavior subject to discipline in the code are the exhibition of photos or artworks containing nudity. (Fortunately, this one was revoked shortly after it was enacted).

Then, of course, we have political agendas masquerading as academic disciplines: Gay Studies, Feminist Studies, Ecology... oh, and don't forget Diversity Studies.

My favorite are the hordes of people running around wearing the exact same "Celebrate Diversity" rainbow pin...


By Marc on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 05:25 pm: Edit


"Deli Lama"? Does he sell Zen hotdogs? Hold everything. Or is that some kind of kosher meat product made out of Lamas?

By Marc on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 05:22 pm: Edit


I was going to suggest Anton Levay for president, no shit! But, he's dead. But, maybe we can resurrect him.

By Don_walsh on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 04:27 pm: Edit

Free Charles Manson! Render him down for oil.

Anton Levay for President!

Legalize 98% heroin! If necessary spike it with fentanyls.

Rock and roll is deadening! Turn it down.

The pope is a little old guy with a Bulgarian bullet hole!

Mother Theresa was bolemic!

Christopher Walken for vice squad!

LARGER government subsidies for whore houses!

Forced vasectomies for all Eurotrash!

You see, marc, our positions aren't all that far apart.

By Don_walsh on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 04:22 pm: Edit

Hey Black Rabbit,

I want to hear the rest of the joke about the Tibetan, the Jew and the Croatian.

Is this the one about the Deli Lama in the Adriatic resort hotel?

By Marc on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 04:02 pm: Edit

Free Charles Manson!

Robert Anton Wilson for President!

Legalize heroin!

Rock and roll is dead!

The pope is a fag!

Mother Theresa was a fag hag!

Christopher Walken for vice president!

Government subsidies for whore houses!

Free vasectomies for all Eurotrash!

By Bob_chong on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 03:50 pm: Edit

Any post that begins with the phrase, "Anatomist is right," signals that sarcasm and wit are to follow. Thanks, BR. A gonzo post if there ever was one.


By Black_rabbit on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 03:42 pm: Edit

Anatomist is right. We should all do what we can to fight this scourge.

I propose we form a terrorist organisation, and call it 'Go To Hell And Die You Awareness-Raising Tree Hugging Politically Correct Singalong Having Drum Beating Cultural Diversity Promoting Fucks, And Take A Shower While You're At It,' or GTHADYARTHPCSHDBCDPFATASWYAI for short.

We can all wear buttons and carry signs around in front of government buildings, shouting incoherently about how we should cook the whales to feed the starving millions in Biafra, but only if the lazy bastards get a job. I propose we all make sure to wear leather or fur to the march, and if possible T-shirts that say nasty things about the Pope and Santa Claus. We can carry little airplane-sized bottles of tequila and filterless cigarettes to hand out to any curious children that should approach.

Then we can all go have a drink afterwards.

It'll be fun.

By Perruche_verte on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 01:34 pm: Edit

I think it's in the green bottle that says "Absenta". ;-)

I share your aversion to arhythmic drum jams and the no-shower lifestyle. Unfortunately, some of my best friends and comrades... well, I won't go into it. Let's just say I'm becoming more and more of a recluse lately.

By Anatomist1 on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 01:21 pm: Edit

I've heard a few people complain about the length of threads around here. I think I'm missing something... or perhaps y'all are. Try locating your pointer directly on the little bar that moves up and down the scroll slot. Hold the left mouse button down and move the mouse frontward and backward: TA DA! According to my watch, I can scroll from top to bottom in around one second.

I may reincarnate this thread soon, if I can read it without dipping into a state of catatonia... just kidding.

You have to understand something: I have lived in Madison, WI for over ten years now. I suffer from post-torporic-PC-stress-disorder. Whenever a discussion veers anywhere near the topic of "cultural diversity", I become irresistibly sleepy. This is the "warning stage". If there is no medication on hand (i.e., ETOH ASAP), and I cannot muster the energy to flee the scene, I could have an "episode" -- the severity of which can vary depending upon the immediate availability of lethal weaponry.

Granted, this discussion started with a fair amount of acrimony and name-calling, but a cursory revisitation of the thread reveals an alarming trend toward conciliation and mutual understanding... can group hand-holding, abandonment of personal hygiene, off-key singalongs, and arythymic drum-circles be far behind? If so, who will clean up the resulting bloodbath?

Too many years of exposure to bad art, badly written empty-headed ideological diatribes, and just plain empty heads has made me a bit jumpy. Now, where's my medication?


By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 10:29 am: Edit

Black Rabbit,

As always you bring a great deal of sense and tolerance to the forum.

People are people the world over, regardless of nationality, race, religion or class. There are no real differences between any of us, only differing social norms.


By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 10:22 am: Edit


I know what you mean but I've always taken the view that all aspects of our lives, values and behaviour are political. I'm happy to have a logical discussion about most things, (although I personally tend to avoid religion) but I suppose "our countrymen have bigger dicks than your countrymen" type attitudes cloud and taint what could otherwise be an intelligent discussion.

Rather than see debate as gladiatorial combat, I view it as a thrashing out of very different ideas in an endeavour to find common ground amongst people holding opposing viewpoints, but that's my own view.


(This thread is now a bit long, perhaps you could start another Arena thread as it takes ages to get to the bottom of this one to post a message. It's your thread, it's up to you.)

By Black_rabbit on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 10:16 am: Edit

Tourists don't generally have any good manners because they are specific to location and very subtle. They are almost doomed to offend unless they study *hard* before they go somewhere.

Japanese find sudden movements of your hand towards them to be scary, like an attack. Americans find people who don't shake hands to be rude. So somebody there is going to be offended.

If you are an american who has to clean a lavatory, and you have some vietnamese tourists in, you will probably develop a low opinion of vietnamese tourists pretty quick. They don't flush the used toilet paper. They leave it on the floor. Because that is what they do at home and it is so obvious to americans there isn't a sign up or anything.

It even happens within the US- someone from say, Georgia, hearing a northerner say 'you people' will often be very offended. In the south, that is a racist comment. In the north, it just means 'you guys' and generally doesn't have racist overtones.

So don't assume hostility- people generally aren't trying to be jerks. It's just that what constitutes a jerk varies from locale to locale. If you tell them, they will generally say 'sorry' and not do it again.

I realize this is too rational for The Arena (where are my manners?) Let me try to do this right...

Americans are arrogant bastards! Brits are pasty-faced fags! The French- why don't they bathe? Italians are greasy womanizing scum! The spanish are exceeded in dorkyness only by the Mexicans! How many portugese does it take to screw in a muslim extremist? And those canadians- they are the plain oatmeal of the world! Hasn't everyone had about enough crap from the brazilians? A tibetan, a jew and a croatian walk into a bar! AAAARRGH!

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 10:04 am: Edit


Thanks for the information. Its much appreciated as I'm having great difficulties figuring out which one of the "exotic..alternate personalites" Marc has created for himself on the internet is manifesting itself at this moment in time. I suppose it all depends on the prevailing circumstances?


By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 09:50 am: Edit


I now believe you are the only Scotsman to keep a lump of mouldy old garlic bread under his sporran.

And in case you haven't noticed Scotsmen are just as pasty faced as us Irish and our English and Welsh cousins. In fact due to geographical location one could argue that Scotsmem will be the most pasty faced of all of us.

I have a lot of time and respect for the Scots, your possession of a Scots ancestry somewhat surprises me.


By Don_walsh on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 05:02 am: Edit

Here, here, Hobgoblin!

But Marc will remind you he's a lover not a fighter.

By his name, though, Marc's non French half is Scots. I realize they aren't entirely sure if they are UK or not (a la SNP) but they are demonstrably unGallic. Campbells, I believe, were on one side of one of the Big Feuds, which were really just Scottish excuses for a brawl, and which now have been largely replaced by football matches.

Anyway I think Marc is having us on about the Gallic enthusiasm. He has always sounded like a proper Highlands troublemaker to me. The sort who ought to be kept in a glass cabinet, with a sign saying "Break Glass In Case of Unpleasantness."

By Anatomist1 on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 03:14 am: Edit


You'd think so, now, wouldn't you. Only, this discussion was starting to make my eyes glaze over. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it just wasn't living up to my standards of knock-down, drag-out excitement...


By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 01:25 am: Edit


Discussion on attitudes to visitors from foreign nations can reveal deep prejudices and other aspects of nationalism. Discussion on attitudes to tourists/travellers from one's own country can reveal elitism and class prejudices.

Surely these are aspects worthy of debate and discussion?


By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, October 16, 2000 - 01:10 am: Edit


"..The only tolerable Brits...are the ones who post here in the forum. And they even stink of ....stale pints of Guinness.." Better than smelling like the inside of a used Big Mac carton.

"The French, on the other hand, are a refined and noble race who excel in the arts of poetry and sexuality." What a shame they've never excelled in archery ( V-sign )


By Don_walsh on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 10:44 pm: Edit

A tongue the size of a small baguette?

By Marc on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 09:44 pm: Edit

Fuck the Eurotrash. New York City is teeming with arrogant little weasels from Italy and England. They are cultural nationalists and yet
they can't get enough of American rock and roll, movies, Harley Davidson motorcycles and USDA poontang. These dipshits from the Continent have taken over most the restaurants in Manhattan and, along with their overpriced food, dish up heaping portions of attitude. An oily, Italian model wannabe, reeking of CK cologne and Marlboros, dressed in DKNY leather pants and singing an Aerosmith song as he serves up a $30 bowl of soggy pasta is enough to make me go postal. These olive-colored butt pirates embrace every aspect of American pop culture, while treating Americans
with utter contempt. Where's the immigration cops when you need em?

As for the British, those pasty-faced wankers
haven't contributed anything to world culture
since The Sex Pistols broke-up. The only tolerable Brits on the planet are the ones who post here in the forum. And they even stink of bangers, mash and stale pints of Guinness.

The French, on the other hand, are a refined and noble race who excel in the arts of poetry and sexuality. I am proud to be half French. I have inherited their sophistication and appreciation
of all things beautiful. I am also gifted with a fine French member, the size of a small baguette.

By Anatomist1 on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 07:37 pm: Edit

Come on, guys. You're desecrating THE ARENA with this piddling crap about whose tourists are bigger weenies than whose. Mix it up. Start insulting each other's religious beliefs, claim that your opponent doesn't really exist... the crowd is getting restless.


By Jkk on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 06:00 pm: Edit

It's been brought to my attention that I managed to confuse Fellraven, Midas and Morrigan la Fey, (spelling?) My fault, I should really go back and reread the old messages more carefully. (Or perhaps my years of alcohol and drug abuse are catching up with me!) As for my response to Fellraven's nattering, it still holds, but I think I'll choose to ignore the whining in the future. Maybe it will go away.

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 01:22 pm: Edit


I'm sure the Auvergne is very nice indeed, I've never visited it but I'll take your word. However you are wrong to insinuate that Brittany, Paris and indeed other parts of Europe popular with ordinary Britons are "British Ghettos". Most American and Japanese tourists to Britain visit London but London could hardly be described as an "American Ghetto" or a "Japanese Ghetto".

It is one thing wishing to enjoy the culture of another country but another to specifically choose to avoid visiting a part of that country because it is popular with your fellow countrymen and countrywomen. Perhaps you feel that they, (unlike yourself) do not understand how to fully appreciate the culture of the country they visit and as such you would not wish to be associated with such people?

As to my curious question, perhaps it is a bit flawed but since you seem to make particular efforts to avoid the average British traveller/tourist abroad, (naturally you don't consider yourself in this category) I was bewildered that you claim to have never met the people you seem to disdain so much.


By Jkk on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 12:40 pm: Edit

For someone who has nothing against Americans,
you have a difficult time keeping from complaining
about them. Enough is enough!

By the way, I've been told by a French professor
at UCLA, who happens to know people involved with
the tourist business in France, that Japanese
tourists are the number one compaint there,
especially when it comes to visiting churches and
cathedrals. Few Japanese are truly religious.
They basically feel that Buddhism and Shinto are
just colorful traditions, and they often don't
understand the feeling Westerners have for
churches. Unfortunately, busloads full of them
will traipse through cathedrals, talking out loud,
chewing gum, eating, whatever. On top of that,
they don't believe in discipling their children
much, and will let them run and play inside of
buildings no matter how much it disturbs others.
This is not, repeat NOT, an anti-Japanese
diatribe. I spent quite a few years in the
country, and have nothing against them. Just
don't tell me that American tourists are behaving
wretchedly at famous European sites, and the
Japanese are models of decorum. I know better.

By Fellraven on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 10:26 am: Edit


Curious question! I haven't personally visited China but there are plenty of of reliable reports of its existence, so I tend to assume it exists! Similarly there are equally reliable reports of drunken Brits on charter flights to Spain, Greece, the Caribbean and other places so why should I be inclined to disbelieve them - especially when the accounts end in convictions for disorderly conduct or whatever.

And as to avoiding other Brits, why not? I go to other countries to experience *their* culture, not my own. Being stuck in a British ghetto in a Sarlat de Caneda campsite is not my idea of fun. As to missing out by not going to Brittany etc you may be right, but on the other hand I'm quite committed to the Auvergne. The wine is crap but the charcuterie and the liqueurs are superb. So are the landscape and the history.

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 10:07 am: Edit


I wasn't specifically refering to British tourists as all nations in Europe all have their fair share on obnoxious travellers. I have come into contact with many of them, (not just British).

I do visit the popular bits of Europe that other ordinary Brits, (and many from other nations) visit. (Package holidays are great value way to travel; and if you visit France and never visit Paris, Provence or especially Brittany then you really are missing out). I am always puzzled when people seem to go out of their way to avoid their fellow countrymen when on holiday, such disdain of one's ordinary fellow countrymen is puzzling.

I can't comment on the supposed French dislike of the English as I'm Irish, (and my own personal experiences have been positive) but if you think there are no negative stereotypes in Britain about the French, (or the Australians or the Japanese) then I can only assume that you live in a very different Britain than I do.

As for tourists to Britain whether they be American, Japanese, French or anyone else, let them come and enjoy themselves. Our economy is not so strong that we should turn down the money they spend when they're here and anyway we all benefit and learn from meeting each other. People are basically the same regardless of what nation they come from, there are decent people and arseholes in every nation on Earth, (nationality is as it always is, an irrelevant concept). If tourists to Britain aren't used to the theatre so what, most people in Britain, (including myself) rarely if ever set foot in a theatre.

Anyway if you have not come into contact with as you describe "...the Brit Tourist from Hell.." how can you acknowledge that such people exist?


By Fellraven on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 09:24 am: Edit


I think you will find that I have not denied the existence of obnoxious British tourists. I have, after all, openly acknowledged the Brit Tourist from Hell several times. From what you say, you have been in close proximity to them. Fortunately I have not, but it may be due to the fact that I tend to choose my bits of Europe in order to avoid other Brits as much as possible. If I want to mix with other Brits on holiday, it's cheaper to go to Blackpool than to put the car on the ferry and cross the Channel.

Considering how much the French are supposed to hate the English, I've never come across that personally.


I'm not sure if your comments about your not being a tourist are aimed at me. If they are, I'm somewhat surprised as I had rather assumed that you were resident in Thailand. Tourists don't set up businesses overseas, by and large.

And for the record, I don't deny there are plenty of white trash males of *all* nationalities on paedophile tours of SE Asia. Europeans, Americans and Aussies included.

By Don_walsh on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 08:13 am: Edit

I'm not a tourist; I've lived in Thailand for 12 years and have hardly been out of it. And let me tell you I have seen more than my fair share of Eurotrash looking for cheap sex and underage girls. (My own Thai wife is 45.)

You want to criticize the mote in American tourists' eyes, kindly attend to the beam in your own.

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 07:18 am: Edit

Fellraven, you say "...Believe me - I have seen Americans behave so bloody appallingly in various parts of Europe..."

I've also seen Europeans behave bloody appallingly in various parts of Europe. Yes many American's when visiting Europe can behave in a loud, arrogant and very annoying manner but I've never seen them resort to physical violence. I wish I could say the same about some Europeans when abroad.

Every nation has it's fair share of assholes.


By Fellraven on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 03:53 am: Edit


I think you are doing more to reinforce stereotypes you complain about than you realise.

Are you also saying that Americans taking their money to other countries gives them the right to shit on the locals how they please?

Let's get one thing straight. Several then.

1. Contrary to what you believe, I am not a racist.

2. I do not dislike/have contempt for all Americans, just those whose behaviour is crass, ill-mannered and generally "Fuck you" to their host country, its culture and local people.

Believe me - I have seen Americans behave so bloody appallingly in various parts of Europe that it's just as well most European's *don't* carry firearms.

By Bob_chong on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 02:39 am: Edit

As for the other ethnic analogies, they do hold water in a sense. What you have meant all along is Americans. You qualify your ideas with behavioral descriptions, but your distaste is for us as a whole...but are willing to make exceptions for a few college students or whatever (reminds me of when people say, "Yeah, I have friends that are black").

If one disdains Americans, it's ok. If they say the same thing about Mexicans or Turks, all of a sudden they're bigots.

BTW--Stratford is living proof that Brits are capable of whoring their culture with the best of 'em (sure, the play's the thing, but the town is a whore). Reminded me of Alligator Wrestling Kingdom or something. All it lacked was a Stuckeys.


By Bob_chong on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 02:29 am: Edit

I know, I know. I just get tired of hearing how inferior we are to you.

Fact is, Europe and America are nothing alike. Everything is completely different. That may be why there is friction. I could come up with all kinds of reasons for why MAYTfH are the way they are, but who cares. They spend lots of money, and that's what many countries need--Yankee dollars. Perhaps it is a testament to our relative wealth that even our crassest, most uncultured citizens can travel to far-flung places.


By Fellraven on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 02:11 am: Edit


Your racial/racist analogy does not hold water (kinda like the holed boat) for the simple reason that we have no means to change our race but we can change our behaviour. It is the *behaviour* of *some* American tourists which creates the stereotype.

Anyone who goes to the theatre and talks through the performance, or complains about their 17th century (Grade 1 listed) hotel not being finished yet because there's no air-conditioning or dresses inappropriately in a church and wanders round during, and talks though, a service can expect to create a poor impression.

I've experienced or witnessed each of these from invariably middle aged American tourists in Britain, Spain and Italy but very rarely indeed anything remotely similar from Germans, French, Japanese, Italians, Aussies or anyone else.

By Bob_chong on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 07:53 pm: Edit

Cute stories. They make sense. FWIW, she did insult Americans twice: (1) "If SC open up shop in the Caribbean, I'd vote for Cuba. Not only would the non-Americans have it all to themselves..." and (2) the one about the MAYTfH.

I think there's a gray area between taking pride in something and letting someone shit on it. Sometimes the former is only invoked when the latter occurs.

I don't think I was ever really angry about the whole thing. It's no biggie and nothing I haven't heard many times before. Oddly, though, I am always freshly amazed when I see the people living in glass houses with the biggest throwing-stone collections.


By Anatomist1 on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 06:53 pm: Edit


You can try to justify it with racial analogies all you want, but what I saw over there was nothin' but good ol' dick-wavin' pride. Every world religion I've ever heard of denounces pride as anything from a deadly sin, to an insurmountable obstacle to enlightenment. Every religion except patriotism, that is. Sam Keen says that the first warning sign that a religion is unhealthy is that its followers are intractible in their lack of a sense of humor about it. I agree.

As an avowed wierdo, I tend to assume that most generalizations don't apply to me. Hence, I took Fellraven's missive at face value. I don't go around wearing t-shirts that are identical to those of my companions, nor matching hats with the price tag still attached, nor do I speak loudly and slowly to people who don't understand english, thinking it will somehow cause them to, etc...

Ever hear the Zen parable of the empty rowboat? It goes like this: a guy is rowing his boat out from shore. It's dark. There's a dense fog. Suddenly, another rowboat smacks into the side of his. He becomes incensed, and commences an angry tirade against the boat's pilot. The fog clears slightly to reveal that the boat is in fact empty -- it was merely drifting. Of course, the guy feels silly and calms down.

This parable is essentially about pride. When the guy thought some other guy was doing something to him, he was royally pissed off. When he discovered the boat was empty, he realized that there was no one to be angry at, and that his anger was groundless. An interesting question: whether the boat was empty or not, which emotional state would be most conducive to appropriate steering? A Roshi will tell you that any slight that makes you angry is in fact an empty rowboat, and that the anger, in addition to appearing silly, is a great hindrance to dealing with situations appropriately. One major difference between a seasoned warrior and a green one, is that the former responds and the latter reacts.

In my estimation, you guys shot, smashed and torched an empty rowboat.


By Anatomist1 on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 06:24 pm: Edit


Did you talk to him about that lawsuit stuff? Did the other band members really want to sell DK songs to Levi's commercials?


By Marc on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 06:16 pm: Edit


Jello Biafra (Eric Boucher) was a roadie for my band back in 1976 in Boulder, Colorado. I kid you not. I actually spoke with him a couple of days ago. Strange coincidence

By Bob_chong on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 03:55 pm: Edit


Don't you think the jab at MAYTfH is a subtle jab at all Americans? It isn't like Cuba entertains other age groups and excludes the MAYTfH. I am not middle aged, but I did feel slightly indignant at the suggestion that we are not welcome visitors in some places (and it isn't the hosts who are unwelcoming but other guests). Imagine posting that "___ is a nice destination because it's one of the few remaining places we can visit where there aren't any black people." Or Turks or French or Mexicans or whatever. Adding some additional and behavioral descriptors cuts down on the immediate bigotry, though (i.e., middle aged, "from hell," etc.). At least on its face.


By Artemis on Friday, October 13, 2000 - 04:46 pm: Edit

"Sure. Send me the material you want translated by e-mail. I'll see what I can do."

Will do, JKK.

"a mutual friend of ours has a gift for you from me. I would've e-mailed you about this, but I don't have your address."

HOTCHA! I bet it's that Jello Biafra looking character from the Big Apple (the friend, I mean, not the gift). Sorry about the email address, Marc. I didn't even know it wasn't visible. I will send it to you ASAP.

By Jkk on Friday, October 13, 2000 - 10:32 am: Edit

Sure. Send me the material you want translated by e-mail. I'll see what I can do.

By Marc on Friday, October 13, 2000 - 01:39 am: Edit


a mutual friend of ours has a gift for you from me. I would've e-mailed you about this, but I don't have your address.

By Artemis on Friday, October 13, 2000 - 01:29 am: Edit

Thank you JKK, Cajuns tend to drop those formalities, in fact, for the most part have forgotten them, but most of us can't read or write French anyway. I have a translation from French you might be able to help with - are you up for it?

By Jkk on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 02:57 pm: Edit

It's "lapin noir" because "lapin" is masculine; an "e" added to the end indicates a feminine noun. By the way, "absinthe" is feminine, so an adjective, such as a color, used with it must also take the feminine form.

Here are the masc./fem pairs for some common colors:

Red: rouge/rouge
Yellow: jaune/jaune
Blue: bleu/bleue
Orange: orange/orange
Green: vert/verte
White: blanc/blanche
Black: noir/noire
Gray: gris/grise

By Artemis on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 02:10 pm: Edit

"If it'll make you feel any better, Artemis, I like Bob much better than I like you."

I really don't give a fuck.

"God! I'm SUCH an asshole!"

So I gathered.

By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 09:06 pm: Edit


When this thread gets too long or just drops dead, I'll name the next one "The Asbestos Underwear Suite" after Black Rabbit.


By Bob_chong on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 08:20 pm: Edit

Black Rabbit makes an excellent point. These topics are exactly the discussions I have in the synchronous world over a few glasses of absinthe, coffee, or tea (last Saturday, I took a bottle of Montana to a party and the conversation was very similar, except with less posturing and insults). This place is no different in that regard.

FWIW, if Anatomist and I lived in the same town, we'd probably get together every now and then to drink, argue, and philosophize (maybe not, but I like to think so). And Black Rabbit might pass by to join in and Marc would tell us we have our heads up our asses and so on. The whole online nature of this thing has often led me to be more caustic than I would be otherwise, but I think that was part of the charter of this thread anyway. ;-)


By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 07:57 pm: Edit

Oh, I wouldn't worry about Bob and me. I was just about to tell him about my martial arts training and my weapons collection... wait, it's not how it sounds!

I guess I've never really understood the "I don't talk politics" kind of mentality. While it makes a certain amount of sense in terms of maintaining congenial relations, it is ruined for me by the persistent knowledge that the relations are built on false foundations. Bear in mind that after a several year stint of working in a bureaucratic office environment, thinking of the most inappropriate possible things to say has been a principle hobby of mine. Y'all should be thankful that I almost always confine these thoughts to the realm of the unuttered... or maybe I should. If the fabric of a relationship is such that it can be torn by the slightest stress, is it worth preserving?

If it'll make you feel any better, Artemis, I like Bob much better than I like you.
God! I'm SUCH an asshole!


By Artemis on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 03:07 pm: Edit

Well said, Lapin Noire! Did I misspell that? Did I misspell mispell? More Serpis should cure that.

By Black_rabbit on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 02:59 pm: Edit

I see this thread as an extension of the absinthe-fueled babble some of us would be sharing if we were sitting down to a glass in person. Let me make it even more realistic:

"Man, I gotta pee like a racehorse! Be right back." (Insert pee noise here.)

By Artemis on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 02:06 pm: Edit

I meant "here", not "hear". But I'm drinking Serpis and that apricot louche frazzled my brain or something.

By Artemis on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 02:04 pm: Edit

Marc spurted (well, he was ready to, anyway):

"Thankyou for the sample of La Bleue you sent me.
It's quite lovely. I'm sipping it now. I feel
transported to some Alpine grove where young women dance naked and I, dressed as a goat, wave my massive member in their stunned faces."

I thought you didn't want to talk about religion, Mr. Great God Pan? Seriously, see what happens. I have bitched more than once about people bringing up politics and religion in here. Okay, so it's confined to a thread I don't have to read if I don't want to, and I even backslid and made a few posts myself. But here are Bob Chong and Anatomist, the two primary protaganists, in a heated argument which has probably colored both of their attitudes toward each other forever, most certainly negatively, and was it necessary, when we could have talked about absinthe? Well, maybe so. Better hear than in the street, I guess. Where's my sword cane?

By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 09:01 am: Edit

It didn't seem that humble to me, so I assumed you were being sarcastic. Oh well.


By Bob_chong on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 05:39 am: Edit

Ahhh. There's the Anatomist I know. Your experiment in humility (and grace?) was too pleasant to last.

FWIW, I didn't mean to sound rotty in that last post. I was truly amazed. It was just very odd to me to use the word "humble" in describing something you had written. It was the break in the storm, the comic relief before the bloodletting, etc.

As for the playgrounds, I was in a fight once (and "won," whatever that means when you're seven: I question the meaning b/c tho' I wasn't the one bleeding, I was the one who got punished by the principal). How about you? You get beat up a lot and that's why you went off to college so young and now box as a hobby? Or were you such a delicate genius that you needed to flee all the cognitive proletarians holding you back in your h.s.?


By Anatomist1 on Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - 04:49 am: Edit

...and you sound like a compulsive smartass.
Tell me, Bob, as a child, on the school playgrounds, were you beaten up often?

By Bob_chong on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 09:37 pm: Edit

Wow--you sound almost...humble.

By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 09:28 pm: Edit

A pertinent analogy, but not quite so pertinent. I did preface by saying it was what Grace meant to me. I don't understand the nuances of every denomination's take on it, but I have been more influenced by accounts which are somewhat different than yours: more focussed on what it means in terms of one's relation with others. The difficulty with your loop is that there is a much greater consensus on political terminology than religious. Also, due to the nature of what it is I tried to describe, and what it means to me, it's not really something that's subject to debate. Wrongness is irrelevant.

I'm not sure what you mean by worldly, but I can guess it has to do with I call flexible thinking. I feel as though I were born in a void. My parents had no substantive values that I can discern to this day, other than self-preservation and materialism. Perhaps the one value that was impressed upon me indelibly was the ideal of perfect honesty. When I was a teenager, LSD liberated me from a large chunk of my fears and set me adrift.

Since then, I have developed into the most 'free' thinker that I know, to use the terminology introduced earlier. I say this not to brag, because if you were in my position, you would realize that there is nothing to brag about. The combination of what I call flexible thinking and an obsession with truth and honesty has proved to be a recipe for absolute aloneness that I never would have anticipated was possible, even in the most pessimistic fits of teenage angst. Nietzsche, my first intellectual hero, warned that "Once and for all, there are things that I do not WANT to know. Wisdom sets limits, even to knowledge"... or something to that effect, but I didn't listen. Of course, I also didn't anticipate my own durability and dogged resistance to death, coexisting happily alongside an obsession with it... but, I digress...


By Bob_chong on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 08:02 pm: Edit

Also, you can go ahead and label anything as 'grace' if you want, but the vast majority of educated persons aren't going to know what you're talking about... and will probably assume that you don't either.

Sound familiar?

By Bob_chong on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 07:57 pm: Edit


You are perhaps the most worldy person I know. Seriously. I mean that.


By Black_rabbit on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 04:21 pm: Edit

Right, right.

But what I am saying is, many an old book I have read refers to 'Freethinkers.' The term was used to specifically refer to atheists. That's what they called themselves. And that's why that website Bob was at had so much anti-religious stuff on it. Sort of like 'freemason' refers to a member of a specific organization, not a guy who lays bricks and doesn't live in prison ;-)

By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 04:18 pm: Edit

I'll take stab at what Grace means to me, as I think Bob's version sounds like something a preacher made up who was worried about low church attendance. I guess in general, it just seems like it's still coming at the whole thing from a "Me" perspective: how can *I* get to heaven? I don't have to EARN my way in, do I?

I'm not much of a Bible reader, and definitely not a church-goer. So, I take all the God/heaven/Jesus stuff metaphorically, like a parable. Nevertheless, I think this concept is simple, beautiful, and powerful. Only, it's not a concept, it's more like a feeling or a state of being. Now, I think many people experience this state fleetingly, or at least brush up against it now and then. I think I have. It can accompany any number of experiences of beauty: music, a visual experience, etc... Of course, it's impossible to describe adequately with words, but it's that swelling feeling that brings tears to your eyes, and you get overwhelmed with emotion to the point were joy and sadness seem to mingle together with an intensity that borders on terrifying. It's a state where unbearable restlessness and peaceful calm somehow coexist, and you feel nothing but raw, unfocussed, unconditional love... not for anything, or toward anything, you just feel it.

Of course, most people only have fleeting experiences of this, except perhaps when they fall madly in love with someone, in which case one might hang around on the border for quite sometime, or perhaps it's because in what we call "falling in love" one has temporarily gained access to seeing this Grace-inducing beauty more truly and deeply than is usually possible... I don't know.

Anyway, I imagine people we call mystics, saints, and messiahs walk around in this exceptional state all the time, and so compassion, forgiveness, patience, and so forth flow naturally from them. So, from my point of view, most of the stuff in the Bible is just incidental crap, whereas the main idea is expressed in many ways such as "God is Love" or "God has infinite Grace", and through little morality plays featuring Jesus, and so on. All the arguments and abuses come from getting caught up in incidental specifics, and not getting the main message, which is that this experience of Grace isn't just some luckly accident that happens when random neurons fire: were MADE of it. When you feel that way, you're tuning in to your essential nature.

That is, this experience of Grace is more real, more you, than the collection of thoughts or sense data you normally posit as your identity. Hence, when it is said that man is made in God's image, it's not that there's some giant hairless primate floating in the sky, it's that an ecstatic state of Grace is your essence, and everyone else's too. When you inhabit it, you see and feel it everywhere, in everyone, and maybe you'll call it 'God', and loving, compassionate action will be effortless.

As for me, I feel it when I observe and build anatomical structures, I feel it in music, and I sometimes see and feel it in people. Churches just don't do it for me.


By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 01:39 pm: Edit

"Free-thinker" being another word for atheist? Very few people exist who are not at least greatly influenced by or indeed followers of one philosophy or another. My view of religion is that it is one particular way of interpreting the world . Someone who follows a religion is not necessarily any less of a "free-thinker" than someone who follows any other philosophy.

Personally I don't follow any religion or God, but I cannot claim to be any more of a "free-thinker" than someone who does.

We are all entitled to take support from our own favourite philosophies and religions. Not everyone who follows a religion is a reactionary, bigot.


By Black_rabbit on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 01:05 pm: Edit

Bob, Freethinkers is an old fashioned word for atheists. They called themselves that because it was mandatory to be religious (and that pissed them off. Still does, apparently ;-)

Our govt programs didn't always suck, did they? I heard the New Deal went OK. I wonder where we went wrong?

I know people in three branches of the military (army, navy, air force.) 'Smooth' is not how they describe operations... it gets done, but it is only because it is the military that the inefficiencies are accepted. Because say what you might about going over budget or whatnot, it's still a bunch of people who quite literally make their living taking a bullet for the rest of us. Hard to bitch at that.

By Pataphysician on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 01:03 pm: Edit

Uh, back to art. (You guys keep at his west flank and I'll take the south)

Bob Chong wrote:
"Why doesn't PC cover Christianity? Not that I'm pro-PC, but has anyone noticed that Christianity is fair game but everything else is off limits?"

Why? As Iggy Pop would say, "Raw Power". Christianity is a behemoth that has stood astride this planet for hundreds of years. In America, Christians are the majority and wield enormous power over our politics and our culture. In government and public schools, they have enjoyed way more influence than they are allowed by the constitution. Institutions such as this have always been the target of criticism and ridicule.

I have to laugh every time a Christian whines about being discriminated against. The history and current position of Christians in this country is in no way comparable to that of African Americans, Jews or gays.

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 12:53 pm: Edit


Our Health and Education entitlements are the entitlement of all in the UK (including residents of other nationalities). Our free Health and Education systems have been around for a very long time, more than 3/4 of a century and involved a lot of effort to get them right, but then things of quality cannot be achieved instantly, (as many people seem to expect these days). But it goes to prove that it can be done and done well, and can prove very popular with the people, (the British taxpayers don't like parting with their money without good reason). If it can work in the UK it can work in the USA and it benefits all, not just the economically deprived.

(As to the "flaws" in your post, it's nice to come across a man who admits to his errors, we all make errors but very few men admit it).


By Bob_chong on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 11:55 am: Edit


You've pointed out the obvious flaws in my post. My suppositions as to why the military has been successful are just suppositions. The military just seems to be more successful than any other of our bureaucracies, and I can't tell you why. Maybe they set simpler goals. Maybe they are all brainwashed. I have no idea. Someone more militarily-oriented could probably explain some reasons as to why the military succeeds while other gov't programs fail.

You wrote: as for effectiveness of such a system. Your UK example is a nice apple to our orange. Your system probably took a long time to implement and is fully entrenched as an entitlement (you tell me). Our fully entrenched entitlements all suck, so I am afraid of letting the gov't attempt any more.


By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 11:39 am: Edit


"Thoughts on the Serbia Revolution?"

Personally I don't think we should crack open the champagne just yet.

Although I can't help but feel glad that Milosevic has gone, I suspect that Kostunica is not much better. Before we hail the Serbian "revolution" as a triumph for democracy we should remember a few things about Vojislav Kostunica.

- He is a Serb Nationalist who believes in the creation of a greater Serbia, (like Milosevic).

- He has never condemned any of the atrocities carried out by Milosevic in Kosova, Bosnia or Croatia.

- He condemned Milosevic as capitulating when Milosevic signed the Daton accord.

- He has said that Serbia should regain control over Kosova.


- We must remember that while the Serbian people have democratically elected Kostunica, they also democratically elected Milosevic before him. So the fact that Kostunica has been elected by the Serbian people does not mean he is a man to trust.

- The chances of Kostunica handing Milosevic over to face trail for his crimes against humanity? Forget it, he'll retire to a cosy luxurious villa in Serbia.

- The one thing that can be said in Kostunica's favour is that his hands aren't dirty with war-crimes.

I feel very sorry for Montenegro as there is no chance that Kostunica will let them gain self-determination and the people of Kosova will remain under threat of destruction.

It's not the time for us to think we have seen the last of war and slaughter in the Balkans.


By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 11:19 am: Edit


The American military did play a tremendous role in driving back the Nazis, (and also the Kaiser's army in WW1) and I am personally very, very grateful for this. (I'm also very grateful to the Russians, British, Australians, Canadians, Indians, French Resistance, Yugoslav Resistance and all other nations who joined the struggle, in WW2, just in case any of you are reading..)

You say that
1. "The military has a completely different org. structure than other government run areas".

The same thing could be said for the Health Service, Education which are also made up of volunteers. (One could argue that all government run areas have very different structures but I realise we will never agree on this so I'll limit myself to mentioning Health and Education, although not mentioning Social Security etc is hard for me).

2. Like the Military, Health and Education are also manned by volunteers.

As you say "These two things color the entire nature of the operation". Therefore on the basis of your argument we should have publicly funded universal Healthcare and Education for all.

As for effectiveness of such a system, in the UK even the most conservative governments did not dare even mention privatising our Health Service as this would guarantee electoral defeat. Universal Health care and Education can and do work extremely well in the UK because because they are not simply delegated to a second rate safety-net" for the economically under-privileged, they are used by all.

You say the Military should remain in public hands. I'm glad that even someone like myself, (who views your Democratic Party as being extremely "right-wing") can find common ground with a Republican like yourself. There is hope for humanity after all.

(Keep drinking the green stuff).


By Bob_chong on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 10:27 am: Edit


Why do I make an exception for the military? Because this message is in English and not in German. ;-) Regardless of how one feels about contemporary American military operations, our soldiers played a pretty big role in driving back the huns twice.

I think that because the military has a completely different org. structure, it has been more successful than other gov't ventures. Also, it is made up of volunteers (as opposed to compulsory service in some other countries). These two things color the entire nature of the operation.

However, it has not been without problems (e.g., low pay keeps some soldiers' families on the gov't dole). Maybe you're right--maybe the miltary could be managed better. But privatizing the military is a bad idea. They must remain public servants.


By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 10:14 am: Edit


You say

"The whole thing is just too silly to me--that
the gov't programs are capable of anything good and can be implemented
effectively and efficiently (except for the military)."

If you think that government programs are so inept at implementing anything good why do you make an exception with for the military. Surely it is just as difficult to manage the military as other programs? Unless you think that managing the military is so simple that any fool, (even the government) can do it? Why not just farm the military out to private firms as no doubt the taxpayer would get a better service this way?


By Bob_chong on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 10:13 am: Edit

Ahhh..Catholics. That explains it.

Just kidding.

But seriously, I have nothing against "Piss Christ" or "The Holy Virgin Mary" (tho' actual excrement is not my medium of choice for my life's work). They don't appeal to me, but I am not outraged by them (nor shocked in any way, etc.).

I was trying to assert that anti-Christianity is tolerated and gets a much different treatment in the popular media than say, anti-semitism. But I haven't heard of "Piss Malcolm X" yet or a play about Vishnu buggering his followers, but you're right--that doesn't mean they don't exist and haven't been misinterpreted. I just can't imagine Tom Brokaw going to bat for these artists.

Now I am really rambling, but the fact is, the left can't be counted on to defend all kinds of speech. The ACLU might defend the Nazis in Skokie, but where is the left when it comes to defending Dr. Laura? I can't stand Dr. Laura, but as an orthodox Jew who believes that homosexuality is deviant, she is entitled to her opinion.

I don't know what this has to do with anything. I think I was trying to point out some double standards (which Pataphysician denies exist, or maybe the things he mentioned get less attn.)? For example, I saw a website that hails itself as something like "for freethinkers" and sells nothing but anti-religious paraphenalia. Wouldn't a freethinker have the entire range of options open to him, or is a freethinker only someone who agrees with the anti-religious sentiment of the site? I know, it's commerce and all that, so I shouldn't be surprised at the marketing tactics. But I still think that a commercial place for "freethinkers" would be better if it sells a Jesus fish right next to a Darwin one, no?

But heck, if we were to create a list of double standards, we'd have to start a new forum.


By Pataphysician on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 09:28 am: Edit

What do the artworks "The Holy Virgin Mary" (the purported "dung painting") by Chris Ofili and "Piss Christ" by Andre Serrano have in common? They were both made by devout Roman Catholics whose work was completely misunderstood by fundamentalist idiots.

Similarly misunderstood art HAS been made about respected black leaders and WAS attacked by censors. The artists' supporters DID hail them as free-speech geniuses. Their attackers WERE vilified as fanatics by First Amendment supporters.

Fundamentalism of any kind deprives the brain cells of oxygen, causing tunnel vision, destroying higher level thinking, and leaving the sufferer in a constant state of rage.

By Bob_chong on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 07:35 am: Edit

Reread the "charter" of this thread. FWIW, Anatomist began this thread b/c we had been mucking up your After Hours thread with these politics and stuff. If you are fundamentally against "off-topic" posts, or "socio-political crap", don't even look at this thread. This is the place to come instead of mucking up someone else's thread with messy arguments...

I suppose you're welcome to come in here and yell that this is horseshit; I'm just saying that it is akin to walking into a library and calling everyone a bunch of bookworm losers or going to a bar and handing out AA flyers.


By Black_rabbit on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 07:23 am: Edit

Wait a sec Marc, I'm almost done ;-)

Bob, please do email me those. It's been years since I read the bible... and you seem like (if you are into it) you would be great for discussion/dialogue on the subject (offline so as not to bore poor Marc to death.)

I wasn't trying to speak of the specific nature of any second coming, what you must do to avoid hell or any of that- I was trying to point out how many lip-service people are out there. They view christianity as a sort of spiritual 401K plan. Something to contribute to a little, and then later it has a big payoff. I'm not saying it's a club- but it is to most christians. They aren't very good at it, either, as the ethics expressed in the bible, the right way of living, aren't things they practice. They talk the talk but don't walk the walk. But the spiritual nature of it all also escapes most of those I've met. So their spirituality isn't what I would call christian at all. They're like hindus with hamburger stands. And that's a damn shame, because the ones I've met who *did* get it are fine people and true human beings.

"I mean, it's all fine and dandy for a gay interpretation of Christ's apostles in a play or a dung-painting of Mary, but could you imagine what would have happened if these subjects had been anyone else? The Christians are labeled fanatics when they are upset by this stuff. Picture the uproar if someone displayed a statuette of Susan B. Anthony or Frederick Douglass in a cup of urine... Martin Luther King or Sacajewa painted with poop... a play that depicts Mohammed a homosexual or Buddha as a sexual deviant (e.g., into bestiality). Would the people creating these works be vilified as bigots and racists? Or would they be hailed as free-speech geniuses like the anti-Christianity artists often are? Would the people protesting be called fanatics? "

Yes!!! I could go off again on that one- and it ties back to talking the talk but not walking the walk. It's not just christians, it's people in general. Drowning in our own self deception, and our deception of others.

K, I'm done.

By Marc on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 03:23 am: Edit


Thankyou for the sample of La Bleue you sent me.
It's quite lovely. I'm sipping it now. I feel
transported to some Alpine grove where young women dance naked and I, dressed as a goat, wave my massive member in their stunned faces.

By Marc on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 03:16 am: Edit


it's time for all of us to lighten up.
All this fucking political and religious horseshit
just fogs up the atmosphere. Let's get clear, let's get high, let's rock and roll until we die.

Or not.

By Chrysippvs on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 02:58 am: Edit

Thoughts on the Serbia Revolution?

By Marc on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 02:54 am: Edit

This dialogue about religion is so tired. I can't even be bothered to enter the fray. Can't we move on to topics other than politics and religion?
How about the negro problem? Or pedophiliac priests? Or absinthe: the new age douche?

By Bob_chong on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 12:32 am: Edit

Why doesn't PC cover Christianity? Not that I'm pro-PC, but has anyone noticed that Christianity is fair game but everything else is off limits?

I mean, it's all fine and dandy for a gay interpretation of Christ's apostles in a play or a dung-painting of Mary, but could you imagine what would have happened if these subjects had been anyone else? The Christians are labeled fanatics when they are upset by this stuff. Picture the uproar if someone displayed a statuette of Susan B. Anthony or Frederick Douglass in a cup of urine... Martin Luther King or Sacajewa painted with poop... a play that depicts Mohammed a homosexual or Buddha as a sexual deviant (e.g., into bestiality). Would the people creating these works be vilified as bigots and racists? Or would they be hailed as free-speech geniuses like the anti-Christianity artists often are? Would the people protesting be called fanatics?

By Bob_chong on Tuesday, October 10, 2000 - 12:05 am: Edit

conservatives on the forum [are] apparently attracted to absinthe from the dapper connoisseur's point of view, rather than that of the wild-haired, mischeivious artist.

So these are the two distinct types of people that come here?

Trying to talk sense into Bob and Co. is quite a challenge

The oddest part of all this is that my thinking about gov't, politics, etc., used to be just like yours is now (you'd get a good laugh if I listed all the people I have voted for since 1988; in fact, my own voting record reads more like a bizarre version of affimative action, in which I often vote for non-babyboomers, regardless of their party or positions on the issues). Even if you were completely right about everything and I were completely wrong, it seems that I have crossed the Rubicon and cannot return to my liberal roots. The whole thing is just too silly to me--that the gov't programs are capable of anything good and can be implemented effectively and efficiently (except for the military). You see, your assumptions about me so far seem to be that I'm a conservative as a choice of pure greed and evil or bigtory or myopia or whatever; on the contrary--I have rejected liberalism and embraced conservatism as an act of cyncism. I don't make a lot of money or even a modest highest paying job was as a h.s. teacher, and I make about 1/4 of that now (!). Whenever I say that I want to keep more of my own money, you act like I'm some greedy asshole. But just because lots of people make even less than I do, that's no reason to "redistribute" my "wealth" to them (FWIW, wealth was never "distributed" in the first place, unless you mean from God).

The way I see it, you think that the gov't should be doing certain things. For example, curtailing corporate greed and so forth. In theory, I may actually agree with these ideas; however, it doesn't matter, because the gov't is incapable of doing anything right. I mean, since the gov't can't implement social programs without failure and waste, then they shouldn't. Maybe this makes no sense. I guess you are idealistic and hopeful that the gov't is, in fact, capable of breaking their record of failure and doing something good. I am cynical and believe that the gov't is wasteful and bloated and thus should not be given any more money to play with. So rather than seeking gov't-based solutions to the problems I see in this country, I make the world a better place (believe it or not) as a result of my own initiative (e.g., teaching, volunteer work, etc.). Having a little gumption and a conscience doesn't make a me a "social darwinist": rather, it makes me a darn good neighbor.

Rhetoric and debating aside, I have probably revealed more about who I am in this post than all my previous posts combined (I admit to prodding you with ridiculousness on more than one occasion). But I'll keep telling you that you're wrong, and I'll keep reading your issues-dodging, judgmental posts. ;-) You haven't convinced me that you're Mohammed Ali, and until you do, you could use a sparring partner. Even one as rotty as me.

Norman Mailer: "What's the use of writing if you can't annoy a great many people?"

Well, at least he succeeded at that. ;-)


By Bob_chong on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 09:46 pm: Edit


What you had written before stated: "...even the so-called Christian fundamentalists are united in this [money-loving], who in America have abandoned the fundamental theme of the New Testament in exchange for political power: compassion takes a back seat to unimpeded material acquisition," and that sounded like compassion and charity are the main thrust. Logically, that is how the sentence is constructed, though you may have meant grace all along (grace in the sense of God granting salvation to everyone, although that doesn't readily leap out in that sentence you wrote).

I stake no claim to "exclusive authority over Christ," as you suggested I claimed, but I am a believer. And as a believer, I often hear people (usu. nonbelievers) say things like, "the message of the bible is [this or that]," like "don't be judgmental" or "do unto others/love one another," etc. While these are all valid and worthy themes, and I am glad that nonbelievers have derived something positive out of the message, they often seem to miss the mark (IMO, the theme is the plan for salvation, the redemption through faith in Christ alone, which cannot be earned in any way). Maybe you are a believer and you are busting my chops--I dunno. I didn't intend to gloat or come off that way, I was issuing a challenge to see what you believe, in the hope that you might reveal yourself a believer (or not). But maybe you're not interested in what I believe, and I'd rather not be accused me of demagoguery, lack of scholarship, proselytizing, etc.

Anyway, if I asserted that "the fundamental theme" of a religion was this or that, I'd expect some feedback. I don't know what the Catholics, Muslims, Davidians, Mormons, etc., believe is their fundamental theme, so I won't try.

As for what I said to Black Rabbit, I was just refuting the idea that Christianity is some club for Christians (like Christ is disappointed more about my choice of shoes than someone else's not believing). Yes, Black Rabbit, I am sinful. But you made Christ's return sound like the second coming of Abbie Hoffman--like it will begin with a WTO protest, a planning session with Susan Sarandon, and a quick whistle-stop tour with Tom Harkin and Ted Kennedy. And What would he say to your continued obedience to an unjust government? He already spoke on this in Luke 20:25 ("Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's"). More is found in Matthew 20:15, Romans 13:1, and Titus 3:1-2. I can type them in or email you if you're interested.

Anatomist: as for the "going to church" bumper sticker--it's a good one. Can be enjoyed by Christians and nonbelievers alike. Here's another: "If God were a liberal, he would have given Moses the Ten Suggestions."

Anyway, I'll be the first to admit that I am not a very good spokeman for Christ. I wish I were better at winning people over to him, because I know that's what he'd want me to be doing.


By Anatomist1 on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 07:19 pm: Edit



The fact that you are prepared to lay exclusive claim to the authority of Christ, in this context... moreover, that you have already anticipated my failure and are prepared to gloat over it, pretty much prove that you haven't an inkling of it.

An appropriate quote from an appropriate source:
"If going to church makes one a christian, then going to a parking lot makes one a car."
-Bumper Sticker


By Bob_chong on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 06:09 pm: Edit


For most of you Christians out there...I think if Jesus were here right now, he would kick your asses.

Not before he kicked yours.

Read up on Christ before you start filling his Palm Pilot with a to-do list.


By Bob_chong on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 05:58 pm: Edit


What is "the fundamental theme of the New Testament," according to your own analysis?

I bet you're wrong.


By Artemis on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 05:45 pm: Edit

"If official documents printed by the local Chamber of Commerce are what you use to discern what's worthwhile about a city, or what are the best things to do there, I can't imagine you'll have much fun anywhere... "

Did I say I didn't have fun in Madison?
Did I say I use C of C documents for any such purpose? I was looking for a map of the city, so I could walk from the hotel (by the lake) to downtown (by the school) without getting lost.
I just happened to be struck by the comical nature of the promotional material, which I *assume* was promulgated at least in part by the C of C. As I remember, it said very little about Madison per se, and a lot about a bunch of liberal characters who either lived or used to live in Madison, said characters' "accomplishments" being dubious at best.

p.s. I had a very nice time in Madison, thank you.

By Black_rabbit on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 05:38 pm: Edit

Crazy Rant time!

"Unfortunately, a political system based on such a misunderstanding of human psychology is too impractical to ever work in a group larger than about five, and as such has never really been tried..."

Bullshit. There have been many groups of people who lived that way, stably, for hundreds or thousands of years. The fact is, our own culture is incapable of such existence because of the 'look out for number one' attitude. We live in a flock of seagulls, angrily pushing each other away from choice bits of garbage. But applying our current cultural state as the end-all-be-all of 'human psychology' seems like so much tunnel vision.

"the so-called christian fundamentalists are united in this, who in America have abandoned the fundamental theme of the New Testament in exchange for political power: compassion takes a back seat to unimpeded material acquisition."

Just so. Mammon ascending. I was in Philadelphia, and I noticed something pretty indicative. In the center of the city, there is a tall church. The Masonic temple next to it is just a bit taller. The government buildings around them are all at least twice as tall. But what buildings dwarf all of these? Which ones are ten times as high? Corporate buildings, temples to wealth, like grasping fingers trying to steal the very stars from the sky. (How's that for purple prose ;-)

Money rules us. Personal survival, personal well-being, is placed above that of the group. Not saying if it's good or bad, but there it is. But I am saying it is certainly not the only way it can be. We could be obsessed with social status, esthetics, war, or any number of other things. It's just money at the moment.

For most of you Christians out there (I'm not and so have an outsider's perspective) I think if Jesus were here right now, he would kick your asses, just like he overturned the money-changers tables. How many of you make your own clothes, and how many wear those made in sweat-shops? How many would willingly spend most of your time hungry to feed the starving millions? How many of you spend your days helping others, and how many of you spend them making money you will spend on hot tubs, SUVs and college educations? You are on your knees to a god, but it ain't Jehova. He's older and darker, and he still consumes your children. They just aren't burned in the bellies of brass idols any more. Instead, they are put into the same social machinery you were, ground down into units of work done, dollars earned, and removed and replaced when they wear out. Just like you. You know what I think Jesus would say to an SUV? He'd say 'there are men in your city who will die of curable diseases for want of care. Couldn't you have spent the extra money to help them and gotten a compact?' You know what he would say to your shoes? 'These were made by a slave.' What would he say to your continued obedience to an unjust government? To your richly appointed churches outside of which bums die of the cold every year? But above all, how would he look at your shining self-regard, your distance from your fellow men, the fact that most of you out there would take the last lifeboat and screw the stragglers. He'd either burst into tears or spit in your eye, or both.

OK- anyone offended, Flame away! I mentioned both politics and religion...I've got my asbestos boxers on. I'm ready... but for the love of Bob, don't just call me a poop-for-brains if you can't back it up with attacks on my positions. Or go ahead. Whatever.

By Anatomist1 on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 04:29 pm: Edit

Oh, and also, FYI: Madison was voted #1 city in the United States by MONEY Magazine. My understanding is that this isn't exactly a Marxist publication...


By Anatomist1 on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 04:24 pm: Edit


If official documents printed by the local Chamber of Commerce are what you use to discern what's worthwhile about a city, or what are the best things to do there, I can't imagine you'll have much fun anywhere...


By Anatomist1 on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 04:08 pm: Edit

Bob: You can go ahead and label anything you don't like 'fascism' if you want, but the vast majority of politically educated persons aren't going to know what you're talking about... and will probably assume that you don't either.

Fellraven: If you're looking for specifics as to what constitutes 'liberal crap', good luck. I've heard epithets varying from 'ultra-liberal' (sounds oxymoronic, doesn't it? like 'ultra-moderate'), to 'pinko-commie-liberal', to immediate leaps to associations with all the worst dictators of the last 100 years, right and left. Usually, this means you don't agree with them about one particular thing, and are therefore a permanent anathema. The underlying theme is a kind of unfocussed attitude of harsh disdain. I don't think the details matter much.

If american conservatives have any common substantive belief, I would say it's "Gimmie more money". Conspicuously, even the so-called christian fundamentalists are united in this, who in America have abandoned the fundamental theme of the New Testament in exchange for political power: compassion takes a back seat to unimpeded material acquisition. The economic or 'libertarian' wing, in turn, have made the concession of promoting a faith-based agenda of various limitations on individual freedom in exchange for the 'fundamentalists' votes... truly strange bedfellows.

I make this distinction about American conservatism because my understanding is that European 'fundamentalists' avoid such absolute association with particular political parties, instead exerting their political will independently, on the basis of their biblical interpretations. Since the New Testament is rather insistent and persistent in its urgings toward kindness, forgiveness, and the extent of aid to the less fortunate, they don't often endorse tax-cuts aimed at millionaires, for instance...

Coincidentally, I would say the politically powerful church groups such as the Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family, National Right to Life Association, and Falwell's Moral Majority (now Liberty University, I believe) are far and away the closest thing we have to classic Fascists here: all of whom are firmly associated with the Republican Party. Personally, I wouldn't vote for these people if I were a billionaire, and my own execution were the first item on the Democratic Party Platform.

Alarmingly, I have stumbled into a large nest of conservatives on the forum... apparently attracted to absinthe from the dapper connoisseur's point of view, rather than that of the wild-haired, mischeivious artist. I've been attempting to hold this one off at sword-point for some time now, but he is dogged. Trying to talk sense into Bob and Co. is quite a challenge... not unlike isometric exercise: futile but fun. And, to paraphrase Norman Mailer "What's the use of writing if you can't annoy a great many people?"


By Fellraven on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 02:45 pm: Edit

As to what constitutes good or bad art ..... I'd not be inclined to take some trendy pillock's view that Damien Hirst's art is "good". To me that's crap, but it doesn't necessarily mean I'm right.

I'm just trying to get a handle on what is deemed to be a "liberal" standpoint. It seems to be what we call "tolerant", ie, so long as it doesn't frighten the horses or the servants, it's probably OK and nobody else's business.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 02:44 pm: Edit

Those who describe all totalitarian states as facist are confused. Facism is a philosophy which includes, (amongst other things) the idea of one race's supremacy over another.

This does not include the USSR. The USSR was not however a true Communist society as Marx would have recognised and it did not recognise the importance of the individual. The USSR jumped straight from a Feudal society, (under the Tzars) and attempted to form a Socialist society. As the USSR tried to move from Feudalism straight to Socialism without first going through a Capitalist phase the result was a Stalinist society. This inevitably collapsed under the weight of it's own oppressions and inadequacies to be replaced by Capitalism, (which should have been the logical change in the first place).

Stalinist society does not benefit the people who live under it and it is very unpleasant, but it is not the same as Facism.


By Bob_chong on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 02:15 pm: Edit

Speaking of Madison and liberal crap, wasn't it UW-Madison that "Photoshopped" a black person into a picture for the cover of booklet for prospective students last year? Pretty funny.


By Bob_chong on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 01:58 pm: Edit

Fascism will come from the left in the form of innumerable rules and regulations. It has already begun. Don't kid yourself.

Sadly, fascism is something both sides can claim (or deny) as their very own. When you move to the extreme ends of the spectrum, they seem to meet.


By Eric on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 01:28 pm: Edit

the anti comunist witch hunts led by joe mcarthy during the 1950s stands as one of the clearest examples of fascisim in the US. many of the people targeted werent even comunists, any body who publicly spoke out against the proliferation of nuclear bombs was labeled a comunist and subsequently persecuted. it is also interesting to note that ronald reagan, who was president of the screen actors guild at the time, participated as a snitch during the hearings.

By Artemis on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 12:52 pm: Edit

I'm not attempting to define it. It's like bad (good) art. I know it when I see it. I honestly don't remember the specifics. Trust me, any conservative, upon hearing the news that Madison, Wisconsin is a conservative town, will get a good laugh.

By Fellraven on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 12:40 pm: Edit

For the sake of the Bewildered Brit, how are we defining "liberal crap"?

By Artemis on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 12:31 pm: Edit

I visited Madison a couple of years back (for a beer festival, what else?). One of the first things I did in the hotel was to check out the section of the telephone book where you often find promotional material as to what a given town thinks it has to offer. I was amazed at the pile of liberal crap of which the city of Madison thinks it should be proud. I don't remember any specifics, but I do remember telling my companion, "Far from lauding these 'accomplishments', the people responsible should have been taken out and hanged". If the town's "national reputation" is that of a conservative bastion, nobody has told the Madison Chamber of Commerce about it.

By Anatomist1 on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 12:06 pm: Edit

I don't know where you get this stuff. "the far left is fascism"? This is a truly ignorant and practically oxymoronic statement. The word fascism describes a political movement of the far RIGHT, it's distinguishing characteristics being extreme nationalism or racialism, rule by an autocratic dictator, and forcible supression of all opposition. The word comes from the italian Fascisti, who came to prominence in the early 20's by attacking communists and socialists with bands of armed thugs. Centralization of government is a feature it shares with communism, the common name of far left ideology. In historical practice, it's easy to get confused, as the Soviet Union and China liked to call themselves communists. True communism would not be so dictatorial, as the power to make decisions would be communal, as well as property ownership. Unfortunately, a political system based on such a misunderstanding of human psychology is too impractical to ever work in a group larger than about five, and as such has never really been tried. I would classify the USSR, China, Nazi Germany, North Korea, etc... as primarily totalitarian states, the leftness or rightness of each being a rather trivial matter of paying lip service to one ideology or other. In not too many years, the entire world will exist under such a state, by virtue of being wholly owned and operated by the United MicrosoftTimeWarnerDisneySyscoADMGeneralElectricNikeExxon Corporation.

Bil Gates Uber Alles!!


By Bob_chong on Monday, October 09, 2000 - 09:26 am: Edit

"Lesbian witches? That's hot." -Charlie in Being John Malkovich

Too bad about Madison being overrun by boomers. If you want to see the guilt, look at them. Liberalism as an act of pity. Anyway, the far left is fascism, and your description makes it sound like Madison is moving that way.


By Anatomist1 on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 09:59 pm: Edit

Actually, it's funny you mention that about Madison, because I think this town's national reputation is a pretty good indication of how far rightward the country's spectrum has been skewed in the last 20 years. Sure, you have a certain share of dread-head white kids in their 20's looking for the eternal commune. And, we probably have the largest per capita percentage of lesbians anywhere -- a real downer when it comes to the dating scene. But, by and large, this town is overrun with well-to-do yuppies looking for a fancy middle eastern restaurant, or a touring off-broadway play at $35 to 50 a ticket. This super-millionaire Jeffy Fratchuli, or whatever his name is, just donated 100 million to found a new arts district. They're using the money to build some giant shopping-mall style high-culture facility more or less on the site of the old "Civic Center". This is a place where almost no one I know can afford to attend shows, or would even want to, as it's mostly two-bit local symphonies and "The Will Roger's Follies" at $39 a pop. When they're done, they will have displaced several small businesses and, most notably, the only downtown 'teen center', which will result in more aimless teen loitering in the State Street business district, and corresponding calls for more police crackdowns on impediments to yuppy shopping. Yeah, I'd say it's a leftist haven...


By Anatomist1 on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 08:27 pm: Edit

Sorry, I threw that musty old thing away... didn't even have cruise control. 'Golden' my ass. There 's a coven of lesbian wiccans down the street who give away zippier brooms than that at their vegan potlucks... you should join us some time. You can help us play pin the dagger in the Gingrich...


By Bob_chong on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 08:16 pm: Edit

you're more of a shrill, hyperbolic hothead than I am.

I'd say it's a draw. ;-)

Do I detect in this stridency an attempt to mask some guilt, perhaps?

I don't have any of that liberal white guilt that is the hallmark of Madison activism and well-educated midwestern anarchists. (So there--can I have the Golden Pushbroom now?)


By Anatomist1 on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 05:09 pm: Edit

(Disclaimer: this message contains speech whose purpose is to criticize certain laws and political agendas as well as to ride Bob's ass, and generally annoy him. The approval or advocation of illegal activities should not be inferred.)

Well, in the context of the drug war, in the way enforcement is applied, the racial example that I plucked from the air is oddly fitting, don't you think? Considering over 70% of users are white, the disproportionate enforcement efforts concentrated on minorities seems a bit peculiar. Sometimes this bias becomes codified into the laws themselves -- as in drastically higher penalties for cocaine in the crack form despite chemical identity with the powderd.

The constitutional problems I was thinking of were more along the lines of cricumventing due process by applying civil forfeitures against property: the presumption being guilt, not innocence (then, conveniently, a portion of the confiscated booty being given directly to the local enforcement authorities).

Here in Wisconsin, they even imposed an exorbitant tax on illegal drugs (applied at a rate per unit weight), along with printed tax stamps, that one was required to have paid prior to getting busted with said substance. This way, they could bust one for tax evasion after the criminal case was thrown out of court on the grounds of illegal search and siezure. Clever.

And probable cause? What's that anyway? There's drug testing, which has finally been declared an illegal, unreasonable search by the Supremes on most gov't employees, yet still practiced freely by private companies. There has also been a steady erosion of the barriers to random searches and invasions by enforcement officials. Here in Wisconsin, they think nothing of setting up a road block to harass every single car that passes a particular spot, using dogs, flashlight-in-the-face intimidation... whatever they can think of... they take advantage of the laxity provided by drug war precedents to use these same dubious techniques to ferret out drunk drivers.

This war is far worse than a mere waste of money. If people currently support it because they are not currently among the list of enemies, this does not make it desireable, even in the areas where it is not flagrantly unconstitutional.

As to sweeping vagaries, this isn't exactly a formal debate with an agreed-upon, stable topic. Generalizations may be a bit flimsy, but what about all of your fabricated specifics "Ritalin for Botswana, etc..."? You reply to being held to task for the positions of pols within the party you have implied and stated your own association with by relating a US Green Party candidate with long-dead italian fascists and soviet socialists. You make stratospheric leaps from particular contradictions in one of my posts to pronouncements of me as "the ultimate hypocrite". Time to fess up, Bob, you're more of a shrill, hyperbolic hothead than I am. Do I detect in this stridency an attempt to mask some guilt, perhaps?


By Bob_chong on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 11:49 am: Edit

The questions remain:

I wonder, what is public opinion on drugs? Is there a silent, pro-narcotics majority that we haven't heard about that has simply been hijacked by the last 60 years of gov't policy? Or is it the same ol' 10-20% hipster set that feels entitled to drugs?


have you ever had a salaried job with benefits?

Maybe you have no data whatsoever on the first set and rely on Elian, public apathy, and the use of a racial epithet to make some kind of point. I asked simple questions. Yes, the issue is complex, but do you know what the numbers are that are pro-narcotics?

As for the last question (italics, above), I am just curious.


By Bob_chong on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 11:44 am: Edit

And the Golden Pushbroom Award goes to...Anatomist! His brilliant sweeping generalizations are a marvel of modern rhetoric!

Here's a clip:

"People like you are always..."

Ahhhh, need we hear more? No. Two in one phrase! Still the champ!


By Bob_chong on Sunday, October 08, 2000 - 11:41 am: Edit

Your "delusional impression" is correct, but perhaps you have no idea what the equal protection clause is. It provides protections for minorities, etc., so your loaded example is lauhably biased (ignorance and a bloody shirt are your two biggest weapons). I assert that drug users are not covered by this.

Even when I was a user, which was a long time ago, I thought that drugs should remain illegal. However, the "war" nonsense is a waste of money. But if they wanted to use the money for drug education, then so be it (a much better use than lining the pockets of caudillos in S.A.). In Holland, decriminalization of pot plus a massive ed/health campaign supposedly reduced the # of smokers. Maybe training is the answer.

You make a good point about public apathy.


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