Global Smarming

Posted in Economics, Rants on March 1st, 2007 by Дмитрий

Good ole Al Gore. He’s back in the spotlight - now as a film producer rather than a smarmy politico. He’s making us quake in our boots about the horrible things we are doing to this floating wet rock we call home. He’s assuring us that all we have to do to stop it is give up our freedom, radically change everything about our lifestyles, and turn our decision-making over to scientists who have produced no results, only theories.

Global warming will flood your pretty city. Scientists (mostly employed by the government) are sure of it. Anyone who denies the existence of global warming is obviously a tool in a massive global capitalist industrial conspiracy to kill all mankind. The world is doomed unless we do as we are told and give up all that we have learned are the goods of a productive and enjoyable life. That’s all it takes.

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Bag People

Posted in Economics on March 15th, 2007 by Дмитрий

Ikea is going to start charging for plastic bags and San Francisco has been trying for years to tax the use of bags or otherwise control their use in the city.

The goal is ostensibly to ‘help the environment’ but that’s utter and complete bull. Aldi and Costco and Sam’s Club have had a no-bags-provided policy for years, and their reason is not about the green of trees but the green of dollars: they know they can increase their profit margins by reducing both the overhead of having this free customer service and in the case of many stores, this change has gone hand-in-hand with a ‘bag your own’ policy, which saves labor costs.

I have no problem with cutting services to cut costs. Ikea has a harder time justifying it and thus a harder time being honest about trying to boost margins, since it’s a private company. But please - companies seeking to boost margins and governments seeking to boost revenues through new taxes are not fooling anybody. This is no different than the “sin taxes” that get repeatedly tacked onto cigarettes and which many governments are starting to dubiously tack onto things like gas or fast food. It’s a money grab, and a company that spends as much money on fossil fuels to ship boatloads of flat-pack furniture across the Pacific and Indian oceans should know better than to try to paint themselves green, or to imagine anyone really cares (or even notices) about the reason their funcky-cheap-do-dad bill just went up by 25 cents.

I Was a Teenage Slash-Fic Writer

Posted in About Me on March 19th, 2007 by Дмитрий

Years before Poppy wrote her Lennon-McCartney slashfic novella, I was in 12-grade English class as an 11th-grader set to graduate a year early.

I don’t think I would have made it through that class without having had a smooshy granola teacher whom Andrea and I referred to as “Bitch Taylor”. She was a totally annoying teacher, but she encouraged and tolerated my queerness to an unusual degree in the quite conservative school I spent those years at.

One story I wrote, which I dug up some reminders of last weekend, was a slash fic piece I wrote based on the rise and demise of Joy Division. I basically renamed the members and made their timeline a story about the love affair between Ian “John” Curtis and Bernard “Mike” Sumner, with the balance of the band, Steven “Stev” Morris, Gillian “Susan” Gilbert and Peter “Greg” Hook providing a supporting cast that saw the roller-coaster creative couple through their affair and to the death of the singer.

I did this type of slash fic a lot that year. Luckily Bitch Taylor was so out of it with youth pop culture that she didn’t notice (not to mention not noticing things like Andrea turning in The Smiths’ “This Charming Man” as a poem or my closing every poetry book project with a Siouxsie and the Banshees song).

Death Isn’t My Thing

Posted in About Me on March 26th, 2007 by Дмитрий

I hate funerals. As I’ve said before, I find death totally wrong and unnecessary, and I hate the fact that our culture tends to ‘celebrate’ it with various rituals. A good quote I came across recently sums up the practice quite well:

“I do not find it respectful or dignified to allow someone to rot and talk about how wonderfully natural it is. For most, rotting is unavoidable and a dignified (and hygenic) burial is the only option, but to pretend it’s a good thing rather than the ultimate downside of the human condition is greatly disrespectful to the suffering it causes.”

I was 14 when I vocally objected to attending a funeral for the first time. People couldn’t quite understand why a black-swabbed gothlet didn’t want to go to a funeral. In any case, they thought it was a one-time thing. It was an uncle who had babysat me as an infant and was one of my closest and most loving relatives. I simply felt that a ‘celebration’ of his death was not appropriate. I felt that any affection I had for him was now rendered worthless and there really was no reason for me to go.

Several years later I went through this again. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I consciously decided to give up on funerals altogether. I don’t want to go to them, even for very close relatives.

My Thoughts are With You, Faye

Posted in Uncategorized on March 30th, 2007 by Дмитрий

In 10th grade, Andrea had a foreign exchange student staying with her from England. She came to school with Andrea and was in the classes we had together for quite some time. We developed this passive-aggressive juvenile exchange while she was in town, because we were young, I had a thing for British anything and she had a thing for me. It was cute, looking back, especially all the drama we seemed to dredge up between ourselves over such a brief and insignificant meeting.

After Faye returned to England, we wrote to each other a lot. We exchanged pictures, called each other on the phone, and talked in veiled terms about one day meeting up again. Of course, our lives were on totally different paths and such a thing was very unlikely. But I still managed to bleat out 3-4 page letters to her every few weeks and she managed to call me every Christmas, every birthday, and the occasional other day all the way til around 1999. I knew she was in training for a military career and I was preparing for a quiet life of Homo domesticus. The last time I talked to her was when she called me for Christmas in 1998 or 1999. I didn’t think much of it. Friends and acquaintances always slip away - that’s life.

Then I saw her picture in the paper today. She’s being held in Iran as a political tool in the never-ending prick-waving which is international relations. This whole episode has smelled to me since the beginning: prick-waving between the biggest terrorist state on Earth (but also the most pivotal state in the future of the Middle East) versus: 1) a Britain that is about to have a political succession and probably soon after an election and 2) an America facing a sea-change in public opinion about its role in the world. I smell a rat. The bad kind of rat.

It’s sad they have to play with real human lives when they play these games. Doesn’t that concept mean anything to these religious fanatics (on both sides)?