Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008


Megan McArdle links to the story of one of those poor souls unfortunate enough to have been covered under the Walmart health plan.

A collision with a semi-trailer truck seven years ago left 52-year-old Deborah Shank permanently brain-damaged and in a wheelchair. Her husband, Jim, and three sons found a small source of solace: a $700,000 accident settlement from the trucking company involved.

Instead, all of it is now slated to go to Mrs. Shank's former employer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Two years ago, the retail giant's health plan sued the Shanks for the $470,000 it had spent on her medical care. A federal judge ruled last year in Wal-Mart's favor, backed by an appeals-court decision in August. Now, her family has to rely on Medicaid and Mrs. Shank's social-security payments to keep up her round-the-clock care.

This is the part that really got to me:

The ruling came six days before the Shanks' 18-year-old son, Jeremy, was killed in September last year in Iraq shortly after he arrived in the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division... Mrs. Shank went to Jeremy's funeral. But because of memory problems due to her injuries, she gets confused about what happened. On a recent morning, she cried several times and asked what had happened to her middle son. Mr. Shank says that he obtained a divorce from Mrs. Shank this year, partly because of advice from a health-care administrator that she might be more eligible for public aid as a single woman. Mrs. Shank, who has been declared incompetent by a court, hasn't been informed of the divorce by her family.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Byron York blows the lid off another scandal by the liberal New York Times:

...I think it's important to point out that the news pages of the New York Times have yet to report that Rev. Wright said "God damn America." According to a search of the Nexis database, Wright's words have appeared in the paper twice, first in Bill Kristol's column on March 17, and then in Maureen Dowd's column last Sunday, but never in the news pages. If the Times's news sections were your only source of news, you would never know that Rev. Wright had ever said those words.

I like the reasoning here. The New York Times hasn't reported a story, aside from where it has. And what about the high percentage of readers who only read the sports section? They're totally being left out of the loop.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I'm visiting my parents this week. Whilst in my father's study, I noticed a large accordion file marked with my name. Naturally, I indulged my curiosity and discovered an archive of report cards and brushes with the law covering my school years through about 1992.

Surprisingly to me, I was a strong academic until seventh grade. During sixth grade, I was under the impression that I was doing quite poorly (the public school teachers were relentlessly negative psychos), when in fact, my report card was nearly straight A's.

And then I went to Gilman School in 1985, and despite having grades that would put me in the top third of a college class, the comments are a round denunciation of my efforts, attitude and results.

What happened? Well, when I was 12 I took the SAT, and I scored in the 96th percentile of 12th graders, and that made me special. So, I had to be challenged. And to challenge me, I was enrolled in Gilman School, a prestigious prep in Baltimore. I didn't want to go.

One fucker by the name of R. Smith snidely commented that the majority of my science grade derived from lab work conducted in class "and supposedly at home." Seriously, where does that asshole get off making snide insinuations instead of coming out and telling my parents I wasn't doing homework? And some asshole shop teacher railed -- railed! -- about my poor drafting ability. He implied was retarded. Well, let me imply that Mister Braun was a child molester. And also, I've never used drafting since. My entire life has been a battle against fuckers like them.

A noticeable omission from the teacher comments was any sense that my social dislocation was in any way responsible for my poor grades. You'd think that teachers who gave half a shit might -- might -- suspect that a transfer student was having trouble related to the transfer -- especially the pressure-cooker environment surrounded by contemptuous rich assholes who dressed ridiculously like cops in Miami Vice. But nope, no empathy at all. I was just a wise-ass with bad handwriting who never did homework.

Naturally this record doesn't include my high school and collegiate glory years, during which I achieved near-perfect grades. I had learned by high chool to intercept report cards, and I guess my parents had given up by th time I made honor roll at 19. It'd be nice if my permanent record wasn't simply a document of failure and disappointment. I feel like shit for having read it.

Easter madness

Saturday, March 22, 2008


A few errors crept into yesterday's item about Paul Scofield. The part of King George III was played by Nigel Hawthorne, who is still alive. Paul Scofield was not gay. And the photo accompanying the post was of Laurence Olivier. Use Once and Destroy regrets the errors.


Thus was my experience at the Aiken Steeplechase.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Paul Scofield is dead. Scofield, an unapologetic homosexual, was perhaps best known for playing the title role in The madness of King George III, replacing Peter O'Toole, who played King George in the first two films in the series.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bush says if younger, he would work in Afghanistan

"I must say, I'm a little envious," Bush said. "If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed."

"It must be exciting for you ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You're really making history, and thanks," Bush said.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Watch as my virginity grows back

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Despite threats of an onstage suicide, Allin died of a heroin overdose in New York City on June 28, 1993, in the Manhattan apartment of John Handley Hurt. He was 36 years old. His last show was at a small club called The Gas Station in New York City. Video footage of the soundcheck, concert, and aftermath is appended to the DVD release of Hated. In his last show the power went out during the second song, after which he trashed the venue and walked the streets of New York naked and covered in blood and feces, surrounded by fans whom he openly embraced. On VH1's Freakiest Concert Moments, Allin's final show ranked at number four.

After arriving at his friend's apartment, some party-goers posed for photos with Allin, not knowing that he was already dead. The next morning, some noticed that Allin still lay motionless in the same place where they had left him, and called for an ambulance. Allin was pronounced dead at the scene.

At his funeral, Allin's bloated, discolored corpse was dressed in his black leather jacket and trademark jock strap. He had a bottle of Jim Beam beside him in his casket, as per his wishes (openly stated in his self-penned acoustic country ballad, "When I Die"). As part of his brother's request, the mortician was instructed not to wash the corpse (which smelled strongly of feces), or apply any makeup. The funeral became a wild party. Friends posed with the corpse, placing drugs and whiskey into its mouth. As the funeral ended, his brother put a pair of headphones on Allin. The headphones were plugged into a portable cassette player, in which was loaded a copy of The Suicide Sessions. The video of his funeral is widely available for purchase, and is an extra feature on the Hated DVD and some bootleg VHS tapes.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


I admire the tenacity of this badass kangaroo.


This boxing kangaroo is living the dream...


In the wild...


I was delighted to discover this gem from Marianne Faithfull. Apparently, this is an old, old Roger Waters song, his first about Syd Barrett's lapse into madness. Faithfull's voice is both erotic and terrifying. I love this song.

Incarceration of a Flower Child

Do you remember me ? How we used to be helpless and happy and blind ?
Sunk without hope in a haze of good dope and cheap wine ?
Laying on the living-room floor on those Indian tapestry cushions you made
Thinking of calling our first born Jasmine or Jade.

Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it to me,
Don't think about it, don't think about it, don't think about it, don't think about what it might be,
Don't get up to open the door, just stay with me here on the floor,
It's gonna get cold in the 1970's.

You wouldn't listen, you thought you knew better, you just to had to speak to that man.
Please believe me, I'll visit whenever I can.
Laying in your little white room with no windows and three square sedations a day,
You plead with the doctor who's running the show,
"Please don't take Jasmine away and leave me alone.;

Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it, don't do it to me,
Don't think about it, don't think about it, don't think about it, don't think about what it might be,
Don't get up to open the door, just stay with me here on the floor,
It's gonna get cold in the 1970's.

Do you remember me ? How we used to be helpless and happy and blind ?
Sunk without hope in a haze of good dope and cheap wine ?
Now in your little white room with no windows and three square sedations a day
You plead with the doctor who's running the show,
"Please don't take Jasmine away and leave me alone."


It’s 9 am on Friday, March 07, 2008. It’s the new moon, and I am on mescaline. The Beatles are playing – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. We hope you will enjoy the show.

I took the first gulp of cactus juice at 6:30 AM. Another mouthful at 6:50 and then I walked for five miles. The music on my Ipod was extraordinary – Across the Universe, some Devendra Barnhart, the Incarceration of a Flower Child, Wig Wam Bam, Let’s pretend and wrapping with the Great Gig in the Sky.

Now I’m back, stocked with food and cigarettes. I have a play to go to at 7 tonight.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008