the last honest man in politics?

chris matthews interviews third party and perennial election "spoiler," ralph nader on whether he will run for the presidency in 2008. it will be a good thing for politics if ralph nader runs again. some (basically democrats) blame him for george w. bush being elected back in 2000. well, let's quash this right here: bush won because al gore fucked up. gore should have won and he didn't. he wasn't leftist enough or centralist enough or charismatic enough or whatever: he just wasn't good enough. you can blame nader, and even the supreme court, but the truth is, gore even lost his home state of tennessee. and that's the flat out truth. without people like nader, we'd all might as well get lobotomized.

the hour vs christopher hitchens

the hour with yet another great interview with the controversial and amusing christopher hitchens, author of god is not great: how religion poisons everything. he is quite possibly the iron fist of the athiest movement.


lest we forget...

the globe and mail has the bios of the fallen canadian soldiers. it is clear that humanity is stuck in a reoccuring nightmare. we keep talking about learning from history, but no one ever truly does. at least we can try to remember those who have given their lives. regardless of the politics, a soldier is a soldier. they are braver than us all. here is the link.


no time for love, doctor jones...

iran moves to execute porn stars. at least that's the headline on cnn. iran's parliament voted in favor of a bill that would lead to the death penalty for persons convicted of working in the production of pornographic movies. this includes producers, directors, cameramen and actors involved in the making of said porn. apparently pornography violates morality laws within that country, and anyone found to be involved in porn are sentenced to punishment as "corruptor of the world," which is a term taken from the quran, the muslims' holy book, and ranks as the highest on the scale of an individual's criminal offenses. under iran's islamic penal code, it carries a death penalty, though in this case, the bill envisages convictions from one year imprisonment to a death sentence for the main distributors of the movies and also producers of web sites in which the pornographic works appear. to become law, the bill requires an approval by the guardian council, a constitutional watchdog in iran.
it is widely believed that the drafting of the bill came about as a reaction to a scandal last year, when a private videotape, apparently belonging to iranian actress zahra amirebrahimi, allegedly showing her having intercourse with a man, became available across Iran. ebrahimi later came under an official investigation, which is still ongoing. she faces fines, whip lashing or worse for her violation of iran's morality laws.
now culture is culture, and to a degree cultures must be respected. the tricky thing about morality is that it's such a subjective thing. there are no absolutes when it comes to morality, even killing; morality can be changed or redefined. and there can be exceptions to morality. in most instances, killing is not allowed, but it appears that in some cases, killing someone is perfectly fine. the problem with legislating morality and condemning people to death, is that those doing the condemning and executing had better not have any skeletons in their own closets. but that shouldn't be a problem, because they themselves are so perfect and without temptation, and they themselves are omniscient, right? because only an omniscient being could possibly know whether a person is 100% guilty of a crime in order to condemn them to death. and it's a good thing that omniscient beings never make mistakes either!
i know it's not politically correct to say that one culture is inferior to another, but i'm just gonna say it: western society is better. the individual freedom that are allowed, and the amount of benefit of the doubt given to responsible adults is unparalleled. the respect for women and religious beliefs and personal predilections is amazing. all in all, i'd rather live here than anywhere else. personally, i like the idea of being able to burn a flag while guzzling absinthe and masturbating to girl on girl midget bondage porn in the comfort of my own home. not that i'd do it, of course, but at least i have that option to. and that's what matters.



some ideas have been formulating in this big brain of mine ever since i wrote my rant on misogyny last week. these ideas have been battling for attention between my studying and the left over ideas from my now long deleted novel, giants.

when a writer has good ideas, it's hard to let them go when they don't exactly work out, and that's what happened to
giants. there are still a lot of good ideas left over from the book that i want to use, but for the most part, i'm going to have to let them go. that's the toughest part about writing: making decisions. sometimes you just have to cut loose good ideas even though it may hurt a heck of a lot to see them go. i have to learn to get over it. it's pretty much the only way i'll ever be able to write something new. i'm pretty much there now. so this leaves some room for some new ideas to come about.

first up is
hideous, which is the working title for my next book. it's going to take a closer look at single male culture in out society. i came up with a few ideas for the title of the book, but eventually i ended up with hideous just for the sheer immensity of possibilities it entails, all the while being nothing more than a three syllable word.

hideous will basically be a stripped down version of everything i'd written in the past, incorporating parts of another failed novel, zero sum, with new ideas and story arcs. misogyny will be the main theme, but a secondary aspect of a stripped down nature will take effect. everything from the writing to the eventual characters will be stripped bare. i'm hoping to rid my writing of this constant problem of being too artsy. hideous is a dirty topic so i don't want fluttering prose, if you know what i mean. i want the writing to be more like machine-gun fire. simple. direct. just. like. this. maybe not exactly like that, but you get what i mean.

i don't really intend on pulling any punches this time around either. there are a lot of things that i'd write in the past but get rid of at the last moment. i'm my own worst censor sometimes and i cop out a lot when it comes to writing. too much sometimes.

hideous will hopefully be a braver attempt. it's going to have to be considering the salacious nature of the topic. it's the dark and dirty sides of men that really scare people. and i'm not talking about killers or rapists or child molesters (although they are plenty scary). what i'm talking about are psychopaths. psychopaths in the truest sense of the word: without empathy or remorse.

you see psychopaths everywhere these days. they're at your work place, they date your sisters they may even be a drinking buddy. they're everywhere, these self-serving, emotionally walled up individuals. and when it comes down to it, they blame everyone but themselves, particularly women.

so what have i got so far? well, i have a half a dozen characters that are all dressed up with nowhere to go. these characters are fully developed, but the plot isn't. at this point, i've been throwing around various ideas, debating everything from where to locate the book to what perspective it should be written from.

what i do know is that it will be focused on three men: billy, elton and norm. one's a romantic, another is a jealous monster, and the third is a bona fide psychopath. hopefully i can put a fresh take on these characters. for example, the jealous monster is not the type of jealousy you think. it's not about being jealous of another guy. far from it.

there are a couple of female characters but i debated whether to bother to give them names or even physically describe them. because really, to these three men, it doesn't matter who the women are: it's women in general they have hang ups with. women and themselves. i thought that might be an interesting twist, to make all the women in the novel indistinguishable, to make them the "every woman." but then i thought about it some more and i figured i'd probably come across as a misogynist myself, which is not what i'm trying to portray. but hey, if i'm not going to pull punches, those punches would have to eventually be directed at myself, yes? i've always found that kind of writing interesting. when the author is willing to make himself look like a fool, it's sometimes a good thing. we'll see.

ultimately, i suppose, i will give have a principle female character, because it just wouldn't work without a central emotional pivot point. at any rate, i'll be posting excerpts on this site as they come about. more later...


hollywood hoopla

i told myself i wouldn't be a part of the celebrity circus that is hollywood, but i just can't help myself this time. paris hilton is going back to jail. she had spent a couple of days in jail, then managed to work out a deal with the l.a. sheriff's office to fulfill the remainder of her sentence at home with an electronic monitoring device based on an unexplained "medical condition." (ahem... since when is crying a medical condition?) but then the judge michael sauer ordered her back to jail, insistent that she carry out the original sentence he issued, which was a 45 day jail term.

paris hilton is the embodiment of the worst of celebrity worship. she does nothing, produces nothing, contributes nothing... yet she is a celebrity somehow that some girls, unfortunately, look up to and aspire to. i suppose you could blame her for the rash of "dumb" girls lately; meaning smart young girls purposely behaving idiotic and being proud of being stupid. she is a sycophantic media whore who, ironically, is now being paraded around handcuffed and in tears in front of the same media that made her a celebrity.

my only fear is that she will probably serve out her sentence, then sell her story for a nice hefty sum and write some silly tell all book about her "ordeal." now, i am not a class warrior, nor do i particularly care about the rich and their predilections. however, her mere presence is a pox on society; the worst kind of low level celebrity peon. regardless, whatever happens two months from now, this one picture of her bawling is worth it. i'm not a person who usually takes pleasure in other people's misery, but i'll take exception this one time.

some people say she's not being treated fairly. that the average norm for someone who has committed the crime she has would have had to only endure 10% of her sentance. it's as if she's being singled out for being paris. well, at this point, it's not about being fair: it's about how funny it is. three words: eat it, paris.


iraq veterans against the war

the iraq war has cost the lives of over 3,500 us soldiers and approximately 70,000 iraqi civilian deaths, a number that is on the conservative side, with no real way to tell how many have actually died since the war began.

the bush administration staged a phony war for personal gain. so iraq veterans who are now against the war in which they were told to fight in, staged a phony war of their own. holding imaginary guns and roughing up volunteers posing as iraqi civilians, iraq veterans against the war brought the realities of the iraq debacle to the streets of new york, in a memorial day protest that turned times square, union square and the world trade center site into combat zones. essentially, they reenacted some of the things they did while serving their country in the single most largest foreign policy blunder since the vietnam war.

lewis black: comedian

the daily show's lewis black jokes about bush and the democratic party's inability to win.

lewis black on george bush and evolution:


misogyny is defined as the hatred, dislike or mistrust of women. it's something that is quite alive and kicking today in our society. and by our society, i mean western society. sure, men don't stone their wives for adultery, but there is an uneasiness that sort of persists just under the thin layer of political correctness. most notably, single guy culture seems to be brimming with it.

this is a topic that a friend and i began discussing one day through emails. and it's quite fascinating. as a single guy, hanging out in clubs and bars, you really start to get a feel for what it is like for other single guys, specifically marauding groups of single guys, which is where this type of behavior is the worst. you've seen the types: wannabe dominant alpha males who strut like peacocks; emphasis on cocks.

it seems to me that the more i hang out in groups like that, the more subtly my own behavior changes. because when in these types of groups, all of a sudden, women aren't women or girls or even chicks... they're "bitches." as in, "what a hot bitch." or, "check out that bitch." now why is there a need to call a woman a bitch? or a slut? how do you know she's a slut? personally, i don't believe that there are bad words. words are words, it's what you make of them that makes them bad or good. and i don't think the majority of guys think ill of women or want any harm to women, but there is something just so dark about single guy culture. because in that culture, it tend to be women that are to blame for most of the problems. suddenly a woman is a bitch or a slut because she refused the drink you offered her. the problem is never the guy, who may be a sleaze, or the reality that the woman getting hit on may have different preferences or may already have a boyfriend. no, the problem is always that woman that turns you down, or rejects you. i mean, obviously there's something wrong with her if she doesn't want you?

and not all guys behave like this, but i've been with enough guys, and have enough male friends to know that it's much harder to look within oneself, to find out that perhaps women aren't the problem, but you are. and there's also the aspect of betrayal. when you have a group of single guys, there's that saying, "bros before hoes." and when one guy suddenly breaks off after getting a girlfriend, suddenly that's a betrayal to the guy code. the funny thing is, i believe every guy secretly wants to break away, to find that special girl. maybe we don't want to admit it, but perhaps we all need a little saving now and then? there's probably a good reason for why married men end up living on average longer than single men, right?

now i'm not a psychologist, but just from my own observations and interactions with friend and neighbors, i find that women tend to turn inward and beat themselves up where as men tend to exact their frustrations out on something else, anyone else. perhaps that's why when some women are in abusive relationships, they feel that they're the problem, that perhaps they did something wrong to make their normally loving and gentle boyfriends or husbands physically hurt them. whereas with some men, instead of trying to figure out what's wrong with themselves, they start the blame game and sometimes you get a guy that ends up shooting up a school or office space. because all of a sudden, it's society's fault that they can't get a job, or it's the supposed feminization of western culture that is to blame for why they can't be happy, or it's a woman's fault because they were passed over for a job promotion or entry into a prestigious school. honestly, when's the last time you heard of a woman picking up an assault rifle and walking into a classroom and shooting everything in sight?

now i don't presume to know the minds of others, i only say what i've noticed in the behavior of certain men i have come across in the pub and club scenes. i don't know if it's the alcohol, but there seems to be a boiling frustration with single men. most of my male friend are married now, and they met their signifiant others fairly early on, either straight out of highschool or in university, so many of them haven't lived the single life for very long, and certainly none of them have been hanging out in bars or clubs. i'm not talking about these guys; i'm talking about guys that have actively been on the "hunt." Prowling from bar to bar, club to club, looking to get "laid." there is an uneasy, predatory reality about this kind of culture and lifestyle. as a defence, women's react by putting up walls that are hard to get through, which may present them as "bitches" or "hoes."

personally, i know i have felt such frustrations, and i am just as guilty of putting the blame on others when the blame should be on myself, so i'm no better. the really interesting thing about all of this, is that these same guys do turn out to be some of the best fathers and husbands around once they meet the right woman. is this type of behavior simply about uncivilized single guy culture, or is there something more to it? is there such an easy "cure" for it as meeting the right woman? it's an uneasy reality that i think deserves to be explored.

at any rate, years ago i wrote zero sum, a book about misogyny that turned out to be a failure, because it ended up celebrating the things i was trying to criticise. i knew it was a failure when the types of guys i was criticizing, ended up liking the book a lot. now, i often asked myself as to why i ended up writing it that way i did. certainly, i was going through my own female frustrations at that time. was it some deep seeded subconscious thinking of mine that i just needed to get out? a train of thought that got the betteer of me and basically highjacked the writing process?

at any rate, with the recent loss of my latest book, giants, i have started to go back to my rough draft of zero sum and i am attempting to rewrite it. the things i was trying to criticize - corporate politics, single guy culture, misogyny - are things that i have a better understanding of now, since i have seen first hand and experienced what it is like. i will probably use a lot of the same themes, but i will be rewriting it, as an entirely new piece.

i'm pretty busy as of late with studying for exams, but i have managed to write bits and pieces of dialogue. the following is a snippet of a discussion between a male and female office co-worker taking the elevator together. there really is no other context, it's just dialogue, and i don't know if i'd ever really use such an interaction, but it's the first thing i've written since accidentally deleting giants so i figure it's worth posting.

she says:
- where are you getting off?
he says:
- where ever you are i suppose. so long as we go down together.
- ah. elevator humour. funny.
- it wasn't meant as a joke.
- sure it wasn't.
- whatever.
- you shouldn't take that tone with me.
- what tone?
- that immature exasperated tone. the one that's drowned in apathy.
- i am not apathetic.
- you're just pathetic then?
- i'm just indifferent.
- never mind. it's all greek to me.
- at least what i said was the truth.
- what are you implying?
- nothing.
- you're not fooling anyone, buddy. you're not better than the rest of us.
- well, you know what they say: boys rule, girls drool.
- god, why don't you act your age?
- why don't you act your weight?
she glares at him, mouth open. the elevator doors slide open. he steps out a few steps, stops, and turns to her. she's still glaring at him. he rolls his eyes and puts his hand out to her.
- c'mon, let me buy you a drink. whatever you want. look, i'm sorry for hurting your feelings. or offending you, or whatever. forgive me for my sins. just let me buy you a drink and i'm sure your opinion of me will change, yeah? if not, at least you get a free drink out of it. c'mon, i'm being a gentleman here. and it's not to get into your pants, because you're already wearing a skirt, and even though sex is the number one priority for a breed like me. it's a shame really; there's cancer and aids and genocide, but all a guy wants is to get some head, yeah? but it's not about that, even though you'd probably be good at it since you're a white-bread conservative, so let me buy you that drink. let's call a detente. i'm waving a white flag here.
- wow. you're seriously some kind of fuck, you know that?
- funny. my mother used to say the same thing.