Thursday, November 30, 2006

Merrill Hoge is clairvoyant

What a fucking tard.

Via the 'Spin.

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Save your money for the children

Watch More

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The history of PunkRockerVince

Way, way back in the day my family had AOL. Well, I say "my family," but it's probably more accurate to just say "I had AOL," because even though my dad paid for it, I was the only who used it. Ever.

My original screen name was MrSmee069. Clever, yes? I pretty much lived in the VH1 chat room, wasting hours and hours talking shit about Hanson and The Wallflowers, or praising the Smashing Pumpkins and Bush, or trying to pick up chicks. Online. Pick up chicks. Online.

[Pause. Navigate Ipod to "Sixteen Stone." Continue]

This is how every, single conversation I ever had with any girl on AOL *EVER* went:

some chick: a/s/l?
me: 13/m/tx, you?
chick: 14/f/ca (they were all from California, defying both logic and geography)
me: what do you look like?
chick: 5'3", blonde, blue eyes, tan, slim. what about you?
me: man, you sound hot. i'm 6'(!?!), brown hair and eyes, half-Mexican.
chick: you sound cute, too. what kind of music do you listen to?
me: alternative, grunge, punk, inustrial (!?!), ska, hard rock. you? (no, I never listened to anything industrial, but it always sounded cool to claim it)
chick: i like anything but country.
me: yeah, i hate country. i won't listen to rap either.


And so the seeds of the punk rocker were sown, even though I think the punkest thing I was listening to then was "Dookie."

Eventually, my dad cancelled AOL, so I had to give up the MrSmee069 screen name. Thank Jesus. This was right around the time that Netzero did their "free internet" advertising blitz, maybe 9th or 10th grade, and I jumped right on board with that.

["It's the little things that kill..."]

Obviously, priority numero uno was getting back into the AIM swing of things. So there I was, staring at the screen, wondering what could ever replace Mr Smee as my handle. In what would reveal itself to be a moment of divine inspiration, I looked up, the clouds parted, and God the Father himself placed the word "PunkRockerVince" on my tongue.

And it was born. Of course, by now I had upgraded my punkness to Epitaph fanboy status, so it was a legitimate name. From this point forward, every electronic identifier I had was PunkRockerVince: log-ins, user names, email addresses. It wasn't until about my sophomore year in college that I realized how retarded it was for me to actually give out an email address that automatically identified me as an adolescent with anarchy envy.

But because I'm a lazy fuck, I've never changed it. Besides, I've gotten over the embarrassment. PunkRockerVince will live on.

["Got a machine head..."]

Something else I just thought of: I downloaded a LOT of porn for a LOT of years on a shitty dialup connection. I think this speaks to my dedication and perseverance. Word.

From the height of my "punk" days:

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Curb - "Car Salesman", in three parts

A good way to kill the last half hour of work. Do it. You know you want to.

Lots more on Youtube, God bless it.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

A bold trip!

Well, at least the Cowboys won.


I got a Wii! It's pretty cool. Once I get Zelda: TP in hand, all will be right in the world. For now, Super Monkey Ball it is! I love the monkeys. And my Wii.


B16 is visiting Turkey this week. This is a huge deal, and there is a LOT going on here. Neuhaus and Weigel, always poignant, have great insight into the significance of this trip.

To me, the most important aspect of this visit is that it serves as a reminder to all of us that there is still a very real, very historical threat to the existence of "the West" as we know it. Lest we forget, for the greater part of a thousand years, the forces of Islam held siege against Europe. Were it not for miraculous victories in Lepanto in 1571, or Vienna in 1683, we would more than likely be speaking Arabic right about now.

As history would have it, though Europe finally managed to turn away the mortal threat posed from the outside, it has since become crippled by a slow and steady process of cultural dissentegration due to intellectual forces originating within. The most tangible results of its loss of a cultural identity - a declining birth rate, hyper-secularism, the perversion of the notion of "tolerance", and Christophobia - have paved the way for Muslim population booms in France, Great Britain, and several other European nations.

Given these circumstances, how else to interpret [99% Muslim] Turkey's pending entry into the EU as anything but history threatening to repeat itself? And so it is fitting that for an ecumenical visit, the pope choose Turkey, which has historically been the most culturally significant and most infamous entry point for invading Muslim forces.

Lepont 1571, Vienna 1683, Istanbul 2006?

Look Ma, no minarets!An afterthough: I wonder if there are odds on what gesture, if any, B16 will make when he enters the Hagia Sophia.

Probably so. They make odds for everything these days.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Slowest Week Ever

Today we had a lunch and learn about holiday safety. One of the bulleted blurbs on the powerpoint presentation informed us that most fatalities due to holiday-related accidents are the result of falling, fire, choking, drowning, or poisoning.

How informative. I would probably bet my entire net worth that most fatalities in the 200,000 year history of modern man have been the result of falling, fire, choking, drowning, or poisoning.

The majority of the presentation covered ladder and fire safety. They showed this video clip, which was entertaining:

Pretty funny, but as far as home shopping mishaps go, I think this one may trump it:

"We, uhhhhh, may need emergency surgery... in the studio."

This has been pretty much the slowest week ever. Since yesterday, at work, I've gotten about 90% of my Christmas shopping done online, spent maybe 6 hours browsing the Itunes store, and rocked Wikipedia the rest of the time.

Only 6 weeks of dead time left to go... hooray, holidays!

If you have about an hour to kill, take the Wikipedia quiz. It's also humorous.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

I say we hang him, then we kill him!

My alarm clock is set to < unnecessarily overdramatic radio voice > Houston's only Classic Rock station, 93.7 The Arrow < /unnecessarily overdramatic radio voice >. Dean and Rog do the morning show. They are sponsored by a certain product from which we can all benefit.

Please, take a moment to listen to the commercial.

See? I knew you'd appreciate that.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

When the light is green, the trap is clean

I was flickin' through the channels last night when something on Hannity & Colmes caught my eye. (An aside: The very thought of Hannity & Colmes makes me sick. Even just now, a little bit of puke came up. I swallowed it back down, though.) What made me stop and pay attention was this:

Green Card!It's Green Card energy drink! It's marketed to Mexicans who are about to cross the border! Look closely at the tagline, and the logo. That's funny. Really.

The designer and marketer, Jeff Weiss, was on the show to promote it. H&C took the all too predictible line of affront and indignation, and pretty much spent 7 straight minutes railing the guy for everything from aiding and abetting, to exploitation, to supporting terror. But good ol' Jeffy took it all on the chin. And why whouldn't he? His product was getting free exposure - mission accomplished!

That this drink will be marketed to illegal immigrants is a total front. Pedro stops at 7-11 to buy a Green Card on his way to the border, much like Suzie buys a Starbucks on the way to work? Come on, the story's ludicrous. H&C are such fucking meatheads.

The truth is that the kiddies are a major constituent of energy drink consumers as a whole, and so contribute substantially to what is a multi-billion dollar a year industry. Drink companies have responded to this nugget of marketing research gold, and are now scrambling to generate teen-attractive product.

The problem is getting noticed in the wake of an explosion of new brand names; 500+ have been launched in 2006 alone. The effect has been a game of literally nominal oneupsmanship. Hence the existence such clever nomenclature as Cocaine, Crunk, Pimp Juice, Retard Strength(!), and now, Green Card. (Make sure you read the title of Retard Strength website. Great throwback!)

Of course, since the only way I'll drink an energy drink is if you drop a shot of booze into it first, all this means nothing to me, other than that I get to laugh at funny brand names and have something to post about for the day.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

A Third Fourth Reason to Live

this stopped my suicidal inclinations temporarily

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A new reason to live

Thank you, Jesus.

UPDATE: Two new reasons.

Three, really, if you count Rocky Balboa.

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Ah, well...

I don't want to to be too apocaplyptic, because it's really not the end of the world. I knew our secondary wasn't anywhere near an elite level, but I thought that at this point in the season they'd already seen the best any other team would be able to throw at us. Not so much, as K-State was relentless in their ass-raping of our coverage. Seriously, my butthole was starting to hurt just watching it.

The good news is that we're still going to the Fiesta Bowl; the bad news is that it won't be for the championship iteration. Be thankful as hell that we're playing the poor Aggies next game, and not ou, who has turned on the heat all of a sudden. We'll take out some aggression on A&M, put the hurtin' on Nebraska, then play Boise State in the desert for another BCS victory.

Like I say, it's not the end of the world, it's just that our bar is set so fucking high - and that's the way it should be.

By Sunday morning, I had received 17 suicide notes between my voicemail and text messaging. I hope you're all still alive.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

An experiment

I want Giz to come back to Texas; maybe this will make him homesick enough to do just that.

Holy Geez, those guys are off the hizzee. And Emo's is pretty much the best place to see a show in the history of places to see shows.


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This cracks me up

Deadspin's been really hamming up The Legend of Ned, the FIU player who joined in the brawl with Miami, though he was on crutches and in street clothes at the time. Check it out, and smile.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006


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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

On election day, a closer look

"Hence, in order to judge of the permanence and strength of a culture, we have to consider not only the character of its institutions or the quality of its intellectual achievements, but, before all, its inner vitality. The strength of a political or social institution, like that of an artistic style, depends not on its abstract rationality or beauty, but on its communion with the living culture. The most faithful imitation of an ancient work of art cannot call back to life a vanished style of art when once the living tradition has been broken. And just as an artistic or literary fashion can be imitated in an external and artificial way, so, too, can a people adopt the political and social forms of a different culture without having vitally incorporated them. If this process is carried far enough it may involve the end of the living culture and thus it is possible for an abstract and superficial progress to be the mark of a vital decline...

No civilization, however advanced, can afford to neglect these ultimate foundations in the life of nature and the natural region on which its social welfare depends, for even the highest achievements of science and art and economic organization are powerless to avert decay, if the vital functions of the social organism become impaired. Apparent progress is often accompanied by a process of social degeneration or decomposition, which destroys the stability of a civilization, but, as Le Play insisted, this process is not an inevitable one. However far the process of degeneration has gone, there is always a possibility of regeneration, if society recovers its functional equilibrium and restores its lost contact with the life of nature."
-Christopher Dawson, Progress and Religion, 1929.

By an act of serendipity, my reading of Dawson's Progress and Religion has coincided with the height of election season. In light of the negativity and relentless onslaught of vitriol that has characterized this year's proceedings, I think his words cut right to the base of a problem that is seldom, if ever, addressed. When the political institution itself is the incubator of so much divisiveness and pure hatred, and actually becomes a hindrance to progress, it is appropriate that we cast on it a critical eye.

Dawson likened culture to "a living whole from its roots in the soil..., up to its flowering in the highest achievements of the artist and the philosopher." Though a culture may receive its form from its rational and spiritual elements, it rests on a foundation of material and non-rational elements, such as geographical or economic environment. One may admit that our current brand of representative democracy, and its acompanying electoral process, are good things in and of themselves; indeed, they are "flowers" of 18th Century American culture, and the Enlightenment. However, it does not necessarily follow that they remain optimal for our culture, 250 years removed.

The "roots" of American democracy - an agrarian lifestyle and the yeoman farmer, small, self-sufficient towns and the tradesman - still have an universal appeal, but have also become undeniably antiquated. Our culture has long abandoned the valuation of the individual and his personal, economic productivity, leaving its members alienated and fragmented. The result is that those who are not completely disinterested in the political system have become increasingly stratified, to the point that they are now forced to choose between two polarized and diametrically opposed factions. More and more frequently, the animosity between these two are the source of an unhealthy contempt for all things political by the general populace.

I still haven't quite decided on what exactly are the roots of modern American culture, but in them even a specter of the yeoman is hard to identify. Contributing forces are certainly the personhood of the urban wage laborer, the phenomenon of massive credit debt (as well as its accompanying unprecedented purchasing power), and an increased scale of everything (globalism). God only knows what type of government should naturally arise from all these, but I can guarantee you that democracy is not it.

If the political institution itself has become a stumbling block to progress; if it now brings out the worst in people rather than leading them to virtue; if a strong sense of nostalgia and a vigorous national pride are the only things that continue to tie us to democracy; above all, if the cultural link to it has truly been lost - then perhaps it is indeed time to move on.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

A triumphant return

The trip to Chicago went well. My brother John looked sharp; he's off to "A" School in Pensacola as of tomorrow, at the same base of which my grandfather was once Commanding Officer.

The rating that he is going to be training for is Aviation Electronics Technician. I remember a couple years back when I asked him what he wanted to do after he graduated, and he said he was thinking about going to auto mechanic school. I thought that was pretty cool then, but now the thought of him working on fighter jets is a whole lot cooler.

I'm damn proud of him.


I think I said this last year, but this time I really mean it! I think I'm going to vote for the first time ever tomorrow.

Only to negate my friend's vote, though.

He's kinda pissed about that.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Up, up, and away.

As many of you know, my brother went off and enlisted in the Navy after he graduated from high school. He's been up at Great Lakes for basic the last couple months. His graduation ceremony is on Friday morning, so I'm flying up to Chicago tomorrow to see him officially become a Sailor. Go, John.

It's going to be a fucking cold weekend.

Back Sunday afternoon, so I'll catch you all on Monday.

While I'm gone, here is reading material, regarding Wikipedia's credibility in the world of academia.