"Klotz" As In "Blood"

A Testament to the Insidious Impact of Florida Sunshine on Brain Matter

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Remember the Summer Schedule

Filed under: Etherea — Steve @ 7:53 am

….which means the only updates today will be in the comments section, where you’ll find (among other kerfluffles) the ongoing controversy — now at 70 entries — over something to do with birth certificates for stillborn ideas. No, that’s not it. I forget.

Back Friday.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Yoko Ono Commits Cannibalistic Act!!

Filed under: Sense & Sensuality — Steve @ 2:36 pm

Man bites dog. Then has another. Then….

London — A British artist has eaten chunks of a Corgi dog, the breed favored by Queen Elizabeth II, live on radio to protest against the royal family’s treatment of animals.

Mark McGowan, 37, said he ate “about three bites” of the dog meat, cooked with apples, onions and seasoning, to highlight what he called Prince Philip’s mistreatment of a fox during a hunt by the Queen’s husband in January.

“It was pretty disgusting,” McGowan said of the meal, which he ate while appearing on a London radio station on Tuesday. Yoko Ono, another guest on the show, also tried the meat.

“I’ve never tasted anything like it — it was grey and had a very funny smell. It was horrible,” McGowan told Reuters.

McGowan said he was angry that the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, of which the royal family is a patron, had not prosecuted Prince Philip for hunting and killing the fox. The RSPCA said the fox did not suffer.

Corgis are the favored dogs of the queen, who has owned more than 30 of them during her reign.

The dog died of natural causes at a Corgi breeder and was prepared and cooked by others for McGowan.

McGowan is well known for his outlandish performance stunts. He ate a swan in another protest against the queen. Swans are protected by the monarchy. — msnbc.msn.com

I can’t imagine it tasted much worse than most British cuisine. However, this is nothing I intend to pursue. Hey Pierre! You got any input? Does Corgi taste anything like frog?

Art Spark

Filed under: News from the Nation's Dicktip — Steve @ 12:59 am

Q: Who has no arms, no legs, and hangs on the wall?
A: Art.

Unfunny? Tasteless? Well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet until you absorb the Sun-Sentinel’s Michael Mayo’s insipid outlook on the topic:

I went to a playground and found a modern art exhibit instead. There were tilted blue circles that spun around and tall things sprouting from the ground that looked like curved matchsticks. There were shorter things sprouting from the artificial grass that looked like corkscrews, with blue pads at the end.

My toddler looked at me. I looked at her.

Neither one of us had a clue.

Odd. I can see where muddle-headed Mikey might have missed it, but unless the toddler has brain damage,artspark1.jpg she might have picked right up on it. Most kids, uninfected by ideology, have no problem. But then, most kids don’t have the handicap of Mikey Mayo as a parent.

He’s writing about ArtsPark at Young Circle, a remarkable urban endeavor to make the arts accessible to everybody, providing a green space in the center of an enormously expanding city where residents and tourists can come to celebrate the arts.

While he has a point when he notes how the budget to build ArtsPark spun ‘way out of control, he hasn’t a clue when he spews ill-informed opinion on its merits as a park, urban achievement, or contribution to aesthetic experience.

I thought back to simpler times, soon after I moved to South Florida, when Dizzy Gillespie and his puffed-up cheeks graced the stage of the old amphitheater at the Hollywood Jazz Festival…..Back then, the park at Young Circle had a lived-in, comfortable feel, a place where vendor stands peddling funnel cakes and hot sausage lined shady paths during festivals, families spread out on the grass, and free parking rimmed the circle’s perimeter.

The simpler times Mikey remembers are when Young Circle Park was a weedy lot filled with broken glass, discarded beer cans, and snoring vagrants in fragrant ponds of urine. The collapsing bandstand was an outmoded architectural disaster awaiting a disaster. No swings, see-saws or ballfields graced the landscape; the sole nod to human occupation was a bible under glass whose pages were turned daily for the appreciation of, well, people who didn’t own their own bibles and relied on the government to provide one.

Like that arrangement, Mikey? The good old days?

Interestingly enough, two days after Mikey aired out his ignorance, a New York Times Op-Ed addressed the concept of changing urban parks in a pictorial column entitled “Danger — Playground Ahead.” Excerpt:

Playgrounds were originally conceived as places to raise future citizens in a social democracy, according to Roy Kozlovsky, an architectural historian, but now they seem geared more toward facilitating easy parental supervision. Well-meaning efforts to reduce the risk of injury have overwhelmed opportunities for self-expression and creativity. The idea of a playground as what Mr. Kozlovsky calls a “pure place” persists, but increasingly, it is also an empty place.

Hope may be on the horizon. We seem to be witnessing, if not a tipping point, then a seesaw tilt in playground design. The slide-swing set-sandbox-seesaw-repeat model is giving way, in some places, to approaches like slickly engineered skate parks, portable performance spaces and do-it-yourself activity centers. Instead of fostering the repetitive motor skills that are essential milestones for a toddler but mind-numbingly dull for a 9- or 10-year-old, these new spaces seek to stimulate the imagination (and the metabolism) by encouraging exploration and free play.

ArtsPark is not a playground, but the basic philosophical underpinnings — stimulating imagination, exploration, free play, etc. — carry over. That’s sophisticated thinking reflective of the cutting edge, so far removed from the thumb-sucking Sun-Sentinel it might as well be proclamations from Planet Vulcan. Won’t make much difference to Mikey Mayo. You can try giving it to Mikey, but Mikey doesn’t like anything.

photo credit: Alesh, for Hollywood 360 magazine, in the park several months before its opening. That’s me with the blond hair and rainbow tee shirt. (I was so much younger then.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gawn Fishin

Filed under: Etherea — Steve @ 7:58 am

Not really. Never got over a morbid childhood fear of fish hooks.

But I see I omitted announcing on Friday that as of this week, immediately following Memorial Day weekend, this blog is on a 3-times a week schedule (M-W-F), down from 5. Not because it’spogo.jpg getting to be too much, but because everything else seems to be: I’ve got some projects piling up, not the least of which may be some major litigation involving a health insurance company. This is gonna take some time and energy, not to mention a build-up of bile.

Besides, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer, even though it’s ‘way too cold (and not rainy enough), and there are better ways to spend one’s summers than seated at a computer. Even if you’re watching porn.

I’ll keep after the comments section, of course, and encourage readers to keep ’em comin,’ even when they’re imbecilic (Neil), misinformed (Dr. Rufus Leeking), or transparently insane (B.F.D.). Or not.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Cream in Wheaton

Filed under: Sense & Sensuality — Steve @ 8:56 am

Pretty heavy week and here it is late Friday morning before a weekend. Does anybody really want anything significant? And yet, here’s sort of a follow-up:

WHEATON, Ill. — A judge has ordered a 17-year-old to pay a $750 fine and perform 120 hours of community service for contaminating salad dressing with semen and returning it to a suburban Chicago high school’s cafeteria.

Sheen called the prank “beyond stupid.” “If you prove to me you’re worthy of another chance, in two years, then I will give it to you,” Sheen said. [The boy] admitted taking a bottle of ranch salad dressing from the school cafeteria to the bathroom and ejaculating into it, and then returning it to the cafeteria where juniors and seniors eat lunch.Sun-Sentinel

KraftPourableSaladDressing.jpgAhh. Young love. Message in a bottle. Raunch Dressing.

The kid said he get the idea after reading about the vegan couple who starved their infant son to death. “I figured I could show how it doesn’t hurt anybody to eat animal products,” he told incredulous authorities.

Told of the prank, one senior girl just shrugged her shoulders. “Big fucking deal,” she said. “Like the whole school didn’t know he was a wanker before this?” “Yuk, in the salad dressing?” another asked. “That’s gross. I prefer mine straight.”

There’s no information about how he was apprehended (was he caught red-handed yuk yuk?). Did somebody complain about the taste of the salad? Or why he admitted it when confronted. It’s not like DNA testing was a possibility.

Kids and their hormones. I miss ’em. The hormones, that is.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Birth of Jesus Explained in Nebraska Shark Tank

Filed under: News from the Nation's Dicktip — Steve @ 12:11 am

File this under, “Thou Shall Not Gill.”

Omaha, NB — A hammerhead shark that gave birth in a Nebraska aquarium reproduced without mating, a genetic analysis shows.

Researchers from the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University in Florida and Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland found no male DNA in the female baby shark, which was born in December 2001 and died shortly after birth, apparently killed by another fish. The mother was one of three female bonnetheads, a small hammerhead species, that had been captured in Florida and kept without male sharks for three years in the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. — NY Times

Holy dorsal fin! Is this it at last? The Apocalypse at the end of time? Jerry Falwell gets called Home only to usher in the Return of the Son in the unlikely form of a baby shark born to a virgin?

After spending all day trying to get a zoo official on the phone, I finally connect with PR Director Sy Lance at his home.

“We’re concerned,” he concedes. “We worry that when word of this gets out, Christians from coast to coast will converge on our facility and turn it into a madhouse!”

Well, yeah, but it’s already a zoo.

“We’ve had emails demanding that when the pup is born we name it Jesus. Can you imagine?”

shark_of_the_covenant_closeup.jpgHappens all the time in Miami, Sy.

“Y’know, this has a perfectly scientific explanation. And they told us it happens a lot, with reptiles, snakes, wild waligoras. Problem is, it’s kinda like inbreeding, and the offspring are deficient, subject to disease, not the best specimens of the breed.”

Hmm. I see why this would happen in Nebraska.

“Hell, when I tried explaining it to the local teevee station and told ‘em it was called ‘parthenogenesis,’ they thought I was talking about a book in the bible.”

Look on the bright side, Sy. It’s a fish. It’ll be born and baptised at the same time.

“Reminds me of when I got this job 10 years ago. My predecesor cooked up a story that one of our brindled antelopes had the face of Elvis on its flank. You shoulda seen the crowds! Great for business, but it was a hoax.”

What happened to him?

“Got himself fired, went to Washington. Last I heard he was rakin’ it in as a political consultant. Forget his name. Karl somethin or other?”

Holy shit.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Happy Deathday To You

Filed under: Etherea — Steve @ 12:25 am

In the last six years, 19 states have enacted laws allowing parents who have had stillbirths to get such certificates. Similar legislation is under consideration in several more. More than 25,000 pregnancies a year end in stillbirth, generally defined as a naturally occurring, unintentional intrauterine death after more than 20 weeks of gestation. A cause for the death is usually not determined.

To thousands of parents who have experienced stillbirth, getting a birth certificate is passionately important, albeit symbolic. — NY Times

This one strikes me as so whack, so insane, so just-totally-wrong, that I figure I better call feminist psychologist Libby Rae Shone, Ph.D., to see if she’s as fucking nuts as these people are.

“I suspect you don’t grasp the essence here because it’s never happened to you or anybody you know,” she begins, in her irritating, prototypical “you’re-on-the-outside- looking-in” style.

I guess that’s accurate, Libby Rae. I’ve had wisdom teeth and a cyst or two excised, and Guido had cancer removed, but, no. We never asked for a birth certificate.

“Hardly the same. The thought behind the “Missing Angel” movement is validation, dignity, commemoration, and closure. A Fetal Death Certificate doesn’t achieve the same end.”

Libby, I understand the need for emotional crutches. It’s why babies suck their thumbs and infants carry blankets. WeepingWmn37.jpgBut these are adult would-be parents. They should find a more mature and responsible way to handle grief, don’t you think?

“Spoken like a member of the dicked tribe. What’s wrong with treating a stillborn like a member of the family, at least for a short while? Some parents name them, hold funerals, and bury them in family plots.”

Christ on a tricycle. What do you name a stillborn baby? Doug? Matt? Tiler? I can see the book titles now.

“You need to appreciate how traumatic an experience this is. There are other considerations besides the coldly rational that eradicates and denies human beings’ emotional connections. That’s such a male thing, you know, and demonstrates how unevolved masculine perspectives really are.”

Sure thing, Libby. Pardon my evolution. Don’t you see the religious and political agenda working here? It shrinks distinctions between a stillborn and an aborted fetus. Let’s name them, too. Hell, let’s do it all your way. Name that tumor! Hold a memorial service for toenails, shed blisters, and my ruptured appendix. To paraphrase James Thurber, It’s just as bad to tip over backwards as it to fall flat on your face.

“You lost me, Steve, but you see my point. Get in touch with what makes you human, and get over what keeps you male.” She rings off.

Well, I got my answer. She’s as fucking nuts as these people are.

Read about former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pennsyltucky), who took his deceased 20-week premie home from the hospital to “meet” his other children, ages 6, 4 and 1½ where they spent hours kissing and cuddling him, took photos, sang lullabies in his ear, and held a private Mass. The child had survived just 2 hours. He calls it dignity and respect for life. I call it show and tell.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Speaking of a Vegan Diet…….

Filed under: Sense & Sensuality — Steve @ 1:48 pm


This is Konishiki. He goes up to 610 pounds. You can find more photos and info about him on his website, www.obesejapanese.com.

“I trained on a strict vegan diet for 2 years,” he said, through a translator. “Nothing but vegans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I must have eaten thousands of them. Trouble is, an hour later, I was hungry all over again.”

Maybe the translator got some of that wrong.

photo credit: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Oy, Vegan

Filed under: Etherea — Steve @ 12:56 am

Atlanta, GA – A vegan couple was sentenced [last week] to life in prison in the death of their malnourished six-week-old, who was fed a diet largely consisting of soymilk and apple juice.

Judge LA McConnell imposed the sentences on Jade Sanders, 27, and Lamont Thomas, 31, for starving the boy, who weighed just 1.6kg [3.5 lbs] when he died. His parents attributed his emaciated state to their strict vegan diet. Vegans are people who do not eat or use any animal products. The couple was found guilty May 2 of malice murder, felony murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to children. — news24.com

Mighty gruesome, yes? I mean, even during these times when American citizens casually accept gross erosion of their civil rights, including government intrusion into their every private domain including work place, automobile, and bedroom, all in the name of anti-terrorism or homeland security, this one stands out: Your tax dollars have underwritten persecution of a parents’ right to starve their child to death.

Locally, civil libertarians are already on it. “It’s the natural result after 6 years under George W. Bush of flagrant disregard for individuals’ constitutional right of vegan_farms.jpgprivacy,” fumed Bern Barricades of the Ft. Lauderdale-based Free 4 All Caucus. “Parents are uniquely positioned to know what’s best for their children. This nanny-government attitude by the current administration interferes with a precious, natural bond the limits to which only families have the right to determine. Shame! Shame!”

Evangelicals were equally upset. “This is exactly what happens when God, Jesus, and the bible are removed from the public dialog,” sadly noted Rev. Pat Flank of Miami Mission in Action. “We’ve said all along that before a child is born, prospective parents should be compelled at gunpoint to take religious instruction on their Divinely directed obligations to their offspring. This sort of tragedy is less likely to occur in God-fearing households. Secular humanism is the villain here, not those poor misguided parents.”

In any event, the deceased child is off to the boneyard– literally–and the parents are off to the slam. Asked if the parents’ dietary restrictions would pose a problem for the penal system, a spokesman for the Georgia Correctional Systems just snorted. “No problem at all,” he stated, evenly. “It ain’t like they’re Muslims, y’know? Besides, I doubt once the news gets out these baby-starving bastards will be here long, anyway.”

Note: For a local and decidedly different take on this story, check Ambrosia.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Frogs and Finches

Filed under: Playing With Balls — Steve @ 1:38 pm

frog2.jpgRosie the Ribeter

Angels Camp. CA — About 4,000 contestants entered the Calaveras County Fair’s annual Jumping Frog Jubilee this year, twice as many as last year, according to the event’s organizers.

The annual event is inspired by ”The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” Mark Twain’s tale of a frog-jumping contest that is weighted in one gambler’s favor when he secretly fills his opponent’s frog with buckshot. Winning owners get a $750 prize or $5,000 if their frog breaks the 1986 record of 21 feet, 5 3/4 inches set by Rosie the Ribeter. — NY Times

French nationals, forks in hand, await the losers.

Suck what?

Waregem, Belgium — The timekeeper waves a large red flag. Spectators wait in hushed anticipation. The nearly 50 featherweight rivals — including Rambo and Duracel — are surrounded by nervous trainers. But the event is not a boxing or a wrestling match. The one-ounce contestants, with gray caps and blue beaks, will be judged on finch.jpghow many “susk-e-wiets” they can tweet in an hour from inside a wooden box.

This is vinkensport, or finching, the 400-year-old Flemish competition in which winning finches are feted like feathered opera divas, and one false note, like a “susk-e-wiat” instead of a “susk-e-wiet,” can lead to disqualification or, worse, disgrace. (Those are the conventional transliterations of the final chirp in the bird’s call; the “correct” sound is susk-WEET.) — NY Times

The only stupider sport I can come up with is soccer, but I’m open to suggestions.

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