Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Predictably, McCain's people have McCain saying that Obama is using the financial crisis as a "political opportunity." McCain has seized every opportunity to accuse Obama of seizing opportunity lately - he's done it with Iraq, he's done it with race, he's done it with Obama's own success. Is McCain doing it for his health? To alert the American people that the man he's campaigning against is campaigning against him? Thanks, John. I have to say that these weakass, whiny, bitchy little complaints make McCain look awful - less than a man, frankly. It would all seem to bolster Obama's current strength and good chances, and McCain's desperation. But as we've seen in the past, don't underestimate the odious combination of utter unscrupulousness and desperation in politics, nor the susceptibility, shall we say, of voters to it.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Each plane at night is a story of safe passage through the darkness, its persistent blinking a reassuring beacon in the cold and empty sky. But there don't seem to've been too many of 'em flying over us these past few days. Every time I'm out on the deck at night I look up at the moon and at whatever stars I might discern. No planes.

"They change their flight paths sometimes," Steve remarked today.

I hope that's all it is.

Friday, September 19, 2008

All during dinner there was a rivalry between tables four and six.

"We're the greatest," we'd say. "We're the greatest table. Table six!" And we'd raise our glasses. Table four would wave their hands dismissively.

Later on as the dance floor emptied and the crowd thinned out, I was standing by myself. A guy from table four came by.

"You guys are from that subservient table!" he declared.

"Subservient?" I said.

"Subversive! Subversive! I meant subversive! I'm drunk! I'm drunk! Subversive!"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I just want to hole up somewhere and hold my breath, cross my fingers till election day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A big woman on the corner of 51st and 6th, a worker in some capacity or other. Security guard, maybe. She was chatting with the FedEx man, a thin, bent figure with a cumbersome cart in tow. She pulled out a Kool and stuck it into her mouth.

"How she doin'?" the man said.

"Who she? Michelle? She doin' great. She back in school now."

"Uh-huh, uh-huh," the man nodded.

"She enjoys school very much."

I looked to my left and a Hispanic family was standing at the crosswalk, squinting into the glaring traffic. The woman was petite, sexy, and the man was just a little taller than her, with a short, thin beard and a baseball cap. He was pushing a carriage with a young girl who appeared to have some deformity, perhaps a palsy. An excited boy stood beside his mother and pointed something out up in the air. They all looked.

Behind them a vagrant fumbled ominously with his fly.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Want Tony Kornheiser, that Racist Imbecile, Fired NOW

Granted I'm in a bad mood because the Eagles lost, but Tony Kornheiser is a total fucking jackass. Whereas John Madden might be accused of being the master of the obvious, Kornheiser is the master of the obviously fucking stupid.

The fourth stupidest thing Tony Kornheiser said tonight:

He said Donovan McNabb had to be especially fired up getting out on the field because T.O. just scored a touchdown.

Are you fucking kidding me? McNabb doesn't need to be any more fired up. And he doesn't give a fuck if T.O. scores, except that it's six points against his team. The promotion of the alleged McNabb-T.O. rivalry, a figment of T.O.'s imagination to begin with and at this point a complete non-issue, is infantile and seeks to reduce the NFL to the level of pro wrestling or, worse yet, some kind of overwrought soap opera for men. Kornheiser is the type of stupid cocksucker who buys into this shit and we have to hear about it when we're trying to watch a goddamn game on a Monday night.

The third stupidest Tony Kornheiser said tonight:

In spite of everything, you have to admit T.O. is a great receiver. Don't you, everyone? I mean, c'mon.

Jesus Christ help us. OF COURSE he's a great receiver for Christ's fucking sake. You also have to admit that the sky is blue, that war is heck and that warm apple pie à la mode is delicious. Right, Tony? Let's go down the whole list next week.

The second stupidest Tony Kornheiser said tonight:

The Cowboys are the "greatest," or "most valuable," or "biggest" or some stupid shit like that sports team in the world, more so than the Yankees.

What kind of childlike jerkoff even has this conversation in the first place? It's akin to seven-year-olds arguing about which color is the most awesome color ever or whether a truck is cooler than a motorcycle. What a moron. Where does he come up with this?

The stupidest thing Tony Kornheiser said tonight:

It was some kind of celebration of Hispanic-American Month at Texas Stadium, I guess. A weird and tense theme in the first place - there are millions of illegals in Texas and millions of Texans who hate them just as they eat food that's been prepared by them, live and work in buildings that are built by them, and rely on them for countless dirty, dreary tasks. ESPN's idea of a homage was to have Hank Williams, Jr. blurt out "Andele!" before the performance of his stupidass, redneck football song and to occasionally post the score between "Los Águilas de Philadelphia" and "Los Vaqueros de Dallas."

Cute, guys. Nice. Way to get some intern on Babelfish and throw the Hispanic population of this country a bone. Are you kidding me?

But it gets worse. After they replayed the Spanish-language broadcast of the Cowboys' kick return for a touchdown, Kornheiser's idea of a tribute was to say that he only knows high school Spanish, and he's not sure what the announcer was saying, but it was either "No one can touch him" or "Can you pick up my dry cleaning tomorrow?" I'm not sure I have the exact words right but I have not exaggerated anything. Evidently, the network sent the booth a message that Tony would have to apologize and he dutifully did so, much later in the game, without referring specifically to the initial incident.

I try to be open minded when most things like this happen - it does our free society no good to crucify everyone who breaches some dogmatic code of political correctness. But FUCK THIS GUY AND FIRE HIM. If he weren't such a fucking jackass in the first place, a comment like that might be forgiven as unintended somehow, or misguided without being meanspirited. But in the context of the night's half-assed tribute to Hispanics, and given Kornheiser's dimwitted discourse, he gets extra demerits. I WANT HIM GONE.

Monday, September 15, 2008

We watched them get married as behind them, planes landed on the water.

It was the type of wedding, almost no one smoked.

I dutifully let the men's room attendant turn the faucets for me, pump two dollops of hand soap in my hand, give me a towel and take the towel, close the water. A crumpled dollar later and formalities.

Outdoors, from time to time water would splatter off some gutter on the roof and into some runoff chute into the river. This was the Water Club, after all. The perpetually moored boat, deck done up in mini-golf green.

The East River was just about the same color as the sky.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The man behind me at Yankee Stadium was recounting the number of times he'd been to jail, and where. Texas, Utah, Connecticut. Germany.

"Germany?" said his friend. "What the hell were you doing in Germany?"

"Military?" asked his other friend.

"I was in the military."

"Right, right, military," said the friend.

"Military," he said. "I spent five nights in jail with two stab wounds. My ex-wife stabbed me and I was on the floor and I told her when I get up off this floor I'm gonna kill you, and the neighbors heard me and that was that. Didn't see no doctor for five days."

"That must have been... How'd you... You must have..." said one friend.

"It sucked," he said.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The news that W. is sending Special Ops to Pakistan without the approval of the Pakistani government can mean only one thing: This is the October surprise. Mark my words: There will be an announcement in mid- to late October that Osama bin Laden has been captured. It will be a moment of pure vindication for Bush, allowing him to strut and preen and prattle on a bit about how history will view this moment, how our sacrifice has been great but our cause just, etc., etc. There will be the implication, as there was in the capture of Sadam Hussein, that one man - our man, our president - has humiliated another man for the sake of the clan. And the corollary of course is that only tough talking, Republican men do that. Sure enough, McCain will glide into office. He'll have a stroke in early 2012, making Sarah Palin president and ushering in a dark decade of warmongering, religio-fascism and economic mayhem that future historians will marvel at the way an avid mortician scrutinizes a bludgeoned corpse, but that's beside the point for now.

These hideous, corrupt, power-mad and murderous cocksuckers have waited seven years to the day to play this card. They could have picked up bin Laden any damn time. But why waste a trump? It's akin to the 3/11 Madrid bombing. Hit them when it hurts. Hit us when it hurts.

If you're inclined to, pray that this doesn't occur, as it surely can't be God's plan.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


The thing that really chills me about the speech Sarah Palin gave at that speaking in tongues church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, is the peculiarly glib attitude she has about religion and spirituality. I don't know of any evidence that her faith is insincere or shallow, but what do you make of someone who hits the stage and says, "It was so cool growin' up in this church and gettin' saved here"?

Gettin' saved? That was cool? I'm irreligious, but I've always dutifully given big, mainstream religious experiences plenty of respect - the benefit of the doubt, perhaps, but ultimately more than that: Religion being such a contentious and fraught topic in our country, indeed in our world, I think it's fair to enter any debate about it with the assumption that the faithful actually have profound experiences that they ascribe to God. Others may disagree as to the source of that experience - rationalists would trace it no further than the firing of synapses in the brain - but it seems churlish to deny that the pious are subjectively feeling something powerful, mysterious, ineffable; something sublime. But gettin' saved? What the fuck is that?

Aw shucks. 'Member when we were growin' up, goin' to school, skinny dippin' in the pond, gettin' saved? 'Member that? It was so cool when we'd pile in the pickup truck and head to Taco Bell, eat chalupas in the parking lot. Have unprotected sex. Get saved.

Was it cool gettin' saved, Sarah? Was it really? Why? What does it mean to be saved? You think your barren land's a refuge for the holy as they await the rapture. Finally, the parsing of good and damned. That's cool too, right?

Things to do today:

Snow machine to garage
Buy Thinsulate gloves
Willow to OB-GYN
Get kids saved

Where did this banal, cherry Jell-O spirituality come from? Why is this nauseating tendency, this maddening mix of hypocrisy, arrogance (our will is God's will), smug self-regard and intolerance, all framed in supreme, bourgeois shallowness, particularly American?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


My dad had an old college friend, Tomas Bitter. A Swiss man, swarthy, manic. He and his wife Françoise lived up on a twisty flower-lined road, in a chalet overlooking Lake Geneva. They had a platoon of ruddy children, with a cantankerous, Germanic grandmother who lived in the little house across the street.

They were God-promised Calvinists, and this fact - probably told to me by my mother, so mundane and so derisive, one day, over her shoulder in a car - inhabited their home like some spectral presence. Everything seemed peculiarly clean and quiet, with inanimate objects - chairs and bookcases - manifesting unworldly gravity.

One day I was looking through their album collection - a sad, bourgeois and perfunctory row filling half a shelf as I recall, careful not to crowd the tchochkes. One of the kids had a copy of Bob Dylan's "Saved" in there and I pulled it out, mesmerized by the garish, bleeding hand. I must have been nine or ten - I don't think I knew that this was Christ's hand, reaching down from the heavens to the outstretched hands of his children below. I might have thought it was meant to be Bob Dylan's hand. However, I also knew that this album had something to do with the religion of the people who lived in this house and, more properly, with the solemn, pious spirit they shared it with. But the blood, the flesh; the trembling, outstretched fingers: it was so carnal. The idea that these two things might somehow be connected, I'll never forget.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

We should be ashamed of how we reacted to 9/11, all of us, with the exception of those who did the dirty digging in the immediate aftermath of course, suffocating on air the government deemed safe. But as for those of us who merely wheeled shopping carts of PowerBars and Gatorade to 14th Street; who stood in line in the sun to give blood when no blood was needed; who invaded Afghanistan and then Iraq; who detained dark-skinned innocents for no reason, then deported them for torture, all the while satisfying our incipient craving for chipotle and wandering the winter City as the cold, still-acrid air stiffened our coke-white iPod cords: shame.

This Morning

"Perfect! Perfect! Perfect! Perfect! Perfect!" hollered the lunatic of Verdi Square. I wondered whether it might be a command.

Monday, September 08, 2008

It was a day spent facing the television, a posture more draining than it appears. It was the first big day of football, and the Eagles won big, looked great; meanwhile, the Yankees tiptoed away quietly, miserably, almost invisibly in a 5-2 loss to the lowly Mariners.

It's all coming back now: leaves sprung loose from trees, darkness in the afternoon, the innate cold of things and plays whistled dead.
I'm haunted by half-read New Yorkers, open to some article or other with some insufferable, punning title. I'm bracing myself for them to penetrate my dreams.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

One reason to worry if you're an Obama supporter is that in spite of the substance of Republican philosophy, very much in evidence in McCain's history and platform - the predilection for war, the reluctance to govern for the common good, the reflexive fear-mongering and "values" pandering - Republicans are now trying to co-opt the Democrats' message. You hear a lot about "change" and "cleaning up Washington" from the McCain campaign. You've got to sort of admire the nerve. They're skimming the cream from the top of Obama's cup and dumping it into the cold bottom of theirs, with apparent impunity. Every grand and beautiful thing that Obama says - no problem, they'll just say it, too. I like to imagine that one of Karl Rove's lackeys, now working for McCain, had this revelation after weeks of "Curse you, Barack Obama! You're so good!" fist shaking. Eureka. Never mind that bringing change to Washington means changing eight years of grotesque mismanagement by George W. Bush and the (until very recently) Republican Congress. Like so many Machiavellian tactics, this one has an infantile simplicity at the heart of it; it's like children pathetically parroting each other's insults. "Say anything and the people will believe it" cynicism has evolved, or devolved, to "if the people believe what the others are saying, say that." Again, a saving grace is that it reeks of desperation upon the slightest examination. All we really need from undecideds this November is for them to think twice.
A few thoughts as I watch McCain's speech at the RNC:

The bio video preceding his speech was scored with what seemed like an obvious knockoff of the "Dallas" theme. Are they just trying to drill the "more drilling" theme into our heads?

Are they crazy, using the dreaded green screen behind him?

Wow, Cindy McCain looks like a faded porn star. I might also add that the cunt plasters on the makeup like a trollop.

Holy shit, a protester - and the cameras stayed on her awhile. Someone tore a pink flag out of her hands, balled it up and threw it on the ground. Gay and lesbian rights? She ran down an aisle with her hands up in V signs - "peace," I suppose, but it seemed like mad, defiant victory.

The background's blue now - someone fixed it and someone else is getting their ass yelled at.

My friends, I propose to bring to our great nation a new drinking game: Drink every time McCain says "my friends."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

We went to the Yankees-Red Sox last week, with Mike G. and CK and a guy from Denver. The new stadium's crane loomed above the third base wall and a blimp hovered above it all, for the if in life. It was a miserable and ominous 11-3 loss. Whenever Jeter or A-Rod came to bat the stands would erupt with useless, twinkling flashes. Futility before futility.