Jul 30, 2010

The Cost of Douchebaggery

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According to the Silicon Valley Mercury News, last week's rally in support of former BART Police officer Johannes Mehserle will cost Walnut Creek taxpayers upwards of $60,000.


In a continued effort to impart perspective and mockery, I have employed my 12th grade remedial mathematics skills to come up with a few other things for which that money could have been used:


1) 1,000 tickets to the live Bold Fresh Tour, starring Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly


2) new truck to transport the 30-foot billboard depicting an aborted late-term fetus, which pro-lifers display routinely outside the Walnut Creek Planned Parenthood


3) 6,000 boxes of Franzia White Zinfandel


4) complete mommy-makeovers for four needy soccer moms (includes post-op wardrobe furnished by Lululemon Athletica!) 


5) 3,000 Viagra tablets


6) small yogurt (with topping!) from Yogurt Park for every teenage girl in Walnut Creek


7) one-year’s supply of donuts for every officer in the Walnut Creek Police Department


8) one-year’s salary for a previously pink-slipped Oakland teacher, plus more than $20,000 in school supplies for the 2010-2011 academic year


9) $100 PF Chang’s gift card for every black person in Walnut Creek


10) one million teabags

Jul 25, 2010

The Men I've Been Told I Resemble

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Happy Sunday.













Jul 22, 2010

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

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Proving once again that America loves to rally round a moron, “activists” in Walnut Creek, CA organized a demonstration Monday in support of Johannes Mehserle, the former BART Police officer convicted earlier this month of involuntary manslaughter for the 2009 killing of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland. Mehserle contends he intended to draw his taser that fateful New Year's Eve, but accidentally grabbed his gun, subsequently killing the 22-year-old Grant on the BART platform.







Mehserle supporters declared the rally a show of unity and respect for law enforcement.


So, what happens when you fuck up and shoot a restrained, unarmed man in the back in public?  Evidently, you become a martyr and a poster child for stoicism in law enforcement.



It's kind of like when you proudly go on record as a hate-filled, racist cop, in turn pleading the Fifth in the trial of the century, thus arguably placing reasonable doubt in the mind of the jury that let O.J. Simpson walk free.  What happens?  Well, duh.  You're anointed a superstar and get a regular spot of Fox News.   




Or like when you denounce sex education and a woman's right to choose (even in cases of rape), and allow the RNC to orchestrate a marriage engagement between your teenage daughter and the inbred deer-in-the-headlights who impregnated her--you’re hailed a feminist by people who wear teabags on their heads.  Or, better yet, how about when you make up a word like "refudiate" on Twitter, and you and your minions declare you the next William Shakespeare? That and a view of Russia from your living room would score you a regular spot on Fox News, too--that is, if you didn't already have a regular spot on Fox News.



Alas, we will have to wait until Mehserle's sentencing (now delayed until November 5) to find out how long it will be until the premiere of The Johannes Mehserle Shoot 'Em Up News Hour on Fox.

Life really is like a box of chocolates, ain’t it? 


*Note:  The RNC refudiates all claims made in this post. 


Jul 12, 2010

I Don't Swim in Your Toilet, So Please Don't Piss in My Pool

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There's a time that we have to say that people coming from outside that impact our city, our town, the place that we live, that we work, that we play in, needs to stop.


--Anthony Batts, Oakland Police Chief





My mother, on vacation in Hong Kong with my stepdad, called me in a panic last Friday evening. It was morning in Hong Kong, and she had just opened the hotel’s complimentary newspaper to its international section, discovering a full-page image of what she claimed looked to her like a “war zone”. Broken glass. Police in riot gear. Young people being arrested.

But it wasn't a war zone. It was Oakland.

My mom was looking at a picture taken of downtown Oakland last Thursday night, a few hours after the announcement that former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle had been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter with gun enhancement in regard to the 2009 killing of Oscar Grant.



Of course, my mother’s panicked call came as no surprise to me. I had no doubt that, as soon as word of the protests and looting made its way to the other side of the world, my mother would be envisioning me in a pool of blood on the floor of Foot Locker, trampled to death amidst a pile of mismatched shoelaces and patent-leather Air Jordans, a Nike tread imprinted on my forehead.


As I proceeded to allay my mother's fears, I found myself angry that even the international media had jumped on the opportunity to sensationalize the senseless looting that went on the night of July 8th. I say “looting” rather than “protesting”, because that is predominantly what was depicted that day, and it irks me that the difference between the two has been muddied. For weeks the possibility of violent riots had been amped by the media and civilians alike. The Internet was ablaze with gawkers and instigators (again, largely from areas outside of Oakland) who were already armchair-quarterbacking and satirizing the impending "crisis".  When the majority of the anticipated drama largely failed to materialize, the tone on local broadcasts seemed to be as if game seven of the World Series had been rained-out. Quick! Somebody cut to a Seinfeld rerun before our ratings drop any further!


Of course, the majority of those who gathered in downtown Oakland that day were there to peacefully protest the verdict, but that story wasn't the one seen largely by the rest of the world. As is often the case when people view Oakland as outsiders, the press continued to uglify and awfulize the situation and the city, depicting a distorted image of what really went down that day. 

Indeed, there was significant damage done to a number businesses (although most of these crimes were concentrated within the same half-mile radius). And of course there were  individuals who used the protest as an opportunity to act like fools. Unfortunately, these events and individuals were just another vehicle for Judgy McJudgersons to give Oakland the bad rap it so often receives, when in reality, Oakland had little to do with any of it.

According to Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, the majority of the 1,000 or so protesters who took to the streets exercised their First Amendment rights peacefully. Furthermore, three-quarters of the 78 people who were arrested that evening were not even residents of Oakland.


I understand the need for businesses to protect their property from vandals and looters, but I would add that it does not do wonders for the morale of a people when they drive down their local thoroughfare and see a plywood buttress that extends for blocks and blocks.  It reminds me of the kid whose parents put a lock on their liquor cabinet--he's usually the same kid paying the dopefiend outside 7-11 to score him a six-pack.  Which came first, the kid's drinking or the parent's lack of trust?  Hard to say, and I'm not sure what the solution is, either way.  Again, I don't deny that businesses need to take the appropriate measures to stay safe. It's just sad to me, as an Oakland resident, when I see a vibrant city transformed into a faceless plywood barricade, with the knowledge that the majority of the people from whom those businesses are to be protected are coming from out of town to piss on our city.  Regardless, dynamics like these rarely lead to a healthy living situation, whether in a single-family home or in society as a whole.

Finally, I'd like to commend Chief Batts and the rest of the OPD for doing an outstanding job at controlling the situation on July 8th, while still granting the legitimate protesters ample time, space, and respect to voice their opposition to the verdict. A thankless job, to say the least, particularly since they carried it out knowing full well that 80 of the 776 officers in their department would be laid off the following week.

Stay strong, Oakland.  And stay proud.

Rest in peace, Oscar Grant.

Jul 8, 2010

Lindsay Lofasz and the Candy Cuntnection

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Lindsay Lohan clearly never went to beauty school, although her over-processed mane suggests she might be getting her hair done at one.  If she had attended beauty college, she would have learned that rule #7 is Don't Talk Shit.  Yes Lindsay, this applies in court, too.


When she appeared in an LA court yesterday for her sentencing, she revealed a fresh, sherbet-colored manicure with "FUCK U" stenciled on the middle finger, which she displayed prominently for all--Judge Marsha Revel included--to see.


Gurrrrl, what were you thinking?


Lofasz I mean Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 90 days in rehab in response to her parole violation, a judgment which Lollers I mean Lohan calls, "constitutionally perverted," a phrase that Tsada calls the best thing ever. 

I wish I had more to say about this, but Lindsay Lohan is the celebrity equivalent of Ambien these days.

Constitutional perversion (OMG I love it) aside, I will say that her polish job was beautifully done.  It makes me want to chop off her fingers at the first knuckle and eat them like Jordan Almonds.

Mmm...Jordan Almonds.

Jul 5, 2010

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Beauty School

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1) Sanitize.

2) Know your shit

3) If you don’t know your shit, pretend that you do.

4) Take care of your shit.

5) Don’t let other people borrow your shit.

6) Don’t borrow other people’s shit.

7) Don’t talk shit.

8) Don’t take any shit.

9) Never give your shit away for free.

10) Neutralize.

Jul 4, 2010

Stop, Hey What's That Sound?

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Happy Fourth of July. I hope that you are all out doing something enjoyable with your loved ones, soaking up the sweet summer sunshine wherever you might be. Since I live in East Oakland, I am currently typing this from the comfort and safety of my porcelain bathtub.


I’m not sure why people think it’s entertaining to set off firecrackers in my neighborhood. It’s akin to shouting, “Allah Akbar!” on a full flight over the Atlantic. Not. Funny. At. All.


Of course, I kid my Oakland neighbors. We deserve to celebrate our place in this great country just as much, if not more than, everyone else. As a community, it’s pretty easy for us to get mired down in our sensationalized and often unfair reputation of being a war-zone, especially this weekend as we await the verdict on the trial of Johannes Mehserle. And while I don't fault them for taking the precautions recommended by Mayor Dellums and the OPD, it's discouraging to see business owners boarding up their shops in preparation for what many feel will be a violent reaction, regardless of the jury's decision. It is the height of irony, on a holiday intended for the celebration of freedom and independence, that we remain shackled to the notion (one borne largely of the minds of non-residents) that we are a city of barbarians and shit-starters, to the point of effectively shutting down our economy and infrastructure.


Oakland is an overwhelmingly inclusive community of good, hard-working people whose strength of character has endured more tenuous times than the ones to which we bear witness today. And while my greatest wish is that we all stay safe and prosperous in the days and weeks to come, I also hope that we take a few minutes on this day to free ourselves from the fear and judgment that inevitably bring us down.  Like fireworks, we have the power to combust and destroy, but we also have the ability to soar and illuminate.


Wishing you all a peaceful, inspirational Independence Day.

Jul 1, 2010

Dawn of the Cunt

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I first began writing when I was in the second grade, the year I had a teacher named Miss Cuntbreath who did not like me at all.








Of course, her last name was not actually Cuntbreath, but after much consideration, I’ve decided that exposing my teacher's real name on a public forum would be crude and unprofessional. Thus, in the interest of good taste, I shall refer to her as "Miss Cuntbreath".






Miss Cuntbreath was a purebred Boston Brahmin. She wore her sandy blonde hair in the obligatory blunt bob, often accessorized by a grosgrain ribbon headband. She donned the requisite fair-isle sweaters and preppy wrap skirts in pinks and greens, some with lobster or frog or ladybug appliqu├ęs. At circle time, she would tuck the folds of her knee-length skirts under her muscular, tanned legs (undoubtedly bronzed and toned from years of field hockey and lacrosse) as she sat on the carpet and read to us from storybooks, often with a small, blond child tucked under her wing, or even, on occasion, on her lap.






She had a handful of pets in the class—most with old-money, robber baron surnames like Weld or Westcott or Hallowell —and Miss Cuntbreath coddled each and every one of them as though they had emerged from her own womb. The school had a very high concentration of WASPs, and a large number of them—Miss Cuntbreath included—belonged to a local country club (or should I say, cuntry club) well known for its exclusion of African Americans, Jews, Asians, Latinos, and pretty much anyone else whose ancestors could not be traced back to The Mayflower. Miss Cuntbreath had played golf with these kids' parents, had dinner at their homes, even babysat for the towheaded minicunts themselves. These kids were more than just her students ; they were her tiny blue-blooded homies.






Anyhoo, Miss Cuntbreath hated me, and while she never said so directly, I’m pretty sure the reason she hated me was that I was a seven-year-old Jew bitch. She also hated my friend Tien, as she was a half-Chinese AZN whore. In addition, she hated my other best friend Shelly, also for Jew bitch status, although Shelly’s qualifications for that status were admittedly debatable. While Shelly’s mom was a devout Catholic and Shelly was in mass every Sunday like clockwork, Shelly’s dad was Jewish, consequently making Shelly’s last name Abromowitz and consequently making Shelly Jew bitch enough for Miss Cuntbreath.






Miss Cuntbreath never called on the three of us in class, unless it was to scold us for some trivial misstep that undoubtedly would have been overlooked had we been among her chosen brood.  She never chose us as snack monitors. She never commended us--on anything. Not a smiley face, not a gold star. Nothing. Sometimes she shot us a look or snapped at us for really no reason. For the most part, though, it was as though we did not even exist.






Needless to say, Tien, Shelly, and I were never invited into the Talbots-upholstered lap at story time.






Neither was Carl Frampton.






Carl Frampton was the only black kid in our class. Actually, Carl was one of the only black kids in the entire school. He was tall for his age, lanky with a short afro. His mother dressed him almost exclusively in patterned double-knits, which, even as a Garanimals-clad second grader, I could discern to be dorky.






Carl Frampton talked to himself. He sang to himself. He played, almost exclusively, by himself, often recreating television characters such as JJ Evans from Good Times (a twirl, followed by an exuberant "Dynomite!")and, much to the eyebrow raising of the rest of the class, Wonder Woman (a twirl, followed by an exuberant "Won-dah Wo-man!"). For some reason, he was really into characters who twirled.






Of course, the rest of us pasty-faced brats didn’t take into account that Carl’s solitude might have had something to do with being the only black face in a sea of Caucasians, a sea navigated by a Third Reich captain in Lily Pulitzer. Similarly, we didn’t take into account that our own cliquishness might have lead this boy to operate as a loner. It didn’t occur to us to see his behavior as anything other than plain old batshit crazy. That said, it’s hard to fault a room of seven year olds for finding oddity in the tallest boy in the class whirling like a polyester-clad dervish while crying out, “WON-DAH WO-MAN!” It was an unfortunately complicated situation, to say the least.






One afternoon in February when a blustering rainstorm forced the teachers to keep the schoolchildren inside for recess, Shelly and I were sitting quietly in the corner of the classroom, trading stickers. Shelly had just offered me a Lisa Frank ice cream sundae for a puffy Little Twin Stars--a terrible deal for me to which I responded with great insult. I slammed my sticker album shut and, hugging it tightly across my chest, ran around the outer circumference of the room to my cubby in the opposite corner, the cubby where earlier I had taken off and stored the big puffy moon boots I had worn to school that day.






As I ran my stubby seven-year-old legs from one end to the large classroom to the other, my stocking-clad feet glided effortlessly across the linoleum (one of the reasons we liked taking off our bulky snow boots—playing ballerina or figure skater was one of our favorite indoor-recess activities). Shelly, eager renegotiate the terms of her previous offer, jumped up and pitter-pattered after me in her ruffled Bonnie Doon anklets. What neither one of us realized in the midst of our sticker-trading hysteria, was that Carl Frampton, having spent a good portion of recess chanting his “WON-DAH WO-MAN!” mantra whilst spinning himself into a super-heroic frenzy in the cubby area, had apparently spun himself so dizzy that he vomited a large puddle of brown and yellow puke (incidentally, the exact color scheme of the double-knit pants he was wearing that day) onto the slippery white linoleum.






There is that moment of lag—the kind that you experience when you’ve sliced your fingertip with a very sharp knife or SBD-farted in a small room occupied by only one other person—between the moment something sucky happens to you and the moment you actually become aware of the magnitude of its suckiness. When Shelly and I slid through Lake Vomit in our stocking feet, it took a few more steps in our now-warm, wet socks for us to notice the horrible event that had befallen us. This was only a second or two, about as long as it took for Judd Bray to point and scream,






“Ewwwwwwwwwwww! Shelly and Tsada stepped in Carl’s throw-up!”






At which point, Judd unleashed his own small eruption of sympathy vomit onto the linoleum. Splat.






There was a moment of mass chaos--screaming, crying, pointing, laughing--before the teacher on recess duty became aware of the situation. He sent the two boys down to the school nurse, then gave Shelly and me grocery bags and told us to wrap up our socks and put them in our cubbies. Then he sent all of us to another classroom with the principal’s assistant while he spent the remainder of recess mopping up puke.






When recess was over, we were sent back to our classroom, where the recess teacher was sharing the vomitastic details with Miss Cuntbreath who, in retrospect, I think had a big crush on the rather dashing male teacher.






“You poor thing,” she said, patting his shoulder. She batted her blue eyes and flipped her hair a la Blair Warner (if you don’t know who that is, you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog).






But as soon as the handsome recess teacher left the room, Miss Cuntbreath turned to Shelly and me. Her gaze went from doting schoolgirl to vengeful ice queen.






“Go get your socks,” she said pointedly.






“What?” The word slipped from my lips, and I gasped at myself. I was a pretty timid kid back in the day, generally terrified to question authority (especially authority figures who I knew disliked me).  But in this case, my response was purely visceral--like vomit itself.






“Go. Get. Your. Socks.”






“But…” Shelly began.






“GO GET YOUR SOCKS!”






It was at this point that Shelly and I realized that this shit was no joke. This bitch was crazy, and even small children have the intuition to know that one of life’s most basic rules is Don’t Fuck With Crazy. She might as well had thrown us in a dungeon hole with a bucket of Lubriderm on a rope and told us to rub the lotion on our skin. We fetched the Stop and Shop bags from our cubbies and brought them to Miss Cuntbreath.






“Take the socks out of the bags. Now.”






By this time, we were crying. Slowly, we removed the damp, bilious socks from the bags. There we stood, holding them before Miss Cuntbreath, who looked at us with disgust—even more so than usual.






“ Now take them to the bathroom and wash them with soap and water.” And with that, she ushered us into the tiny classroom potty area, where she handed us a crackled, dirty cake of hand soap. “Do not come out of here until your socks are clean.”






And so, even though we were living in the latter part of the twentieth century, with ample access to electric laundry facilities, Shelly and didn’t dare fuck with crazy. We turned on the water and began to scrub.






I can still remember the feel of the socks as I ran them under the insufficiently pressured flow of the tiny faucet, Shelly and I battling for its meager, flaccid stream. The harder we scrubbed the socks, the more the little disgusting bits of puke became ground into the double-knit fibers. To call it an effort in futility would have been inaccurate, because that would imply that we were not effecting a change, when in fact, we were actually making a already disgusting situation more and more disgusting by the minute. Of course, I have no doubt that this was Miss Cuntbreath’s intent. For months my friends and I had felt that our teacher was doing her best to quietly crush us. It seemed that today, she had met with the proverbial perfect storm of vomit.






When Shelly and I got home from school that day, we told our mothers what had happened, and gave them the bags with our wet, vomit-imbedded socks. They of course were appalled, and both of them—after tossing their daughters’ vomity, soapy, soppy socks into the trash—picked up their telephones and made irate calls to the head of the school.






Miss Cuntbreath was not fired, but I do imagine that she was given a stern talking-to. And while I still sensed she disliked us (possibly even more so now that we had snitched on her) I did begin to notice that she was paying a little more positive attention to me in one particular regard—my writing.






Around the same time as the vomit incident, Miss Cuntbreath had given each student a lined composition book to be used as a journal. We were to write in our journals every day, for twenty minutes. Most of the other kids hated journal time, many spending the majority of the period whining that they did not know what to write. For these children, Miss Cuntbreath would supply “hints” to get their literary juices flowing, sometimes a picture clipped from a magazine, or an artificially triggered memory about summer vacation. This I never understood. As kids, we spent all day having the teacher tell us what to do. Why would I want Miss Cuntbreath to tell me what to write about when I could write about whatever I wanted? It made no sense to me at all.






And so I started writing stories; well, more like a group of linked stories starring heroine, Pinky The Pig. Pinky was a foxy teenage pig who dressed and rocked out like Leather Tuscadero (if you don’t know who this is, you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog). Pinky also had an evil sister, Sheila The Pig, whom I named after the sloppy drunk who lived upstairs from my mother. Each day, clad in Lycra and Candies El Greco, Pinky would embark on a new adventure, partying with her friends or babysitting the neighbor’s kids, or dancing at the school carnival with her boyfriend who bore a very close resemblance to a porcine Danny Zuko (if you don’t know who this is, you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog). Pinky lead an unusually exciting and dynamic life, even for a fabulous pig like herself.






Not only did these stories provide me respite from the suckiness of Miss Cuntbreath’s class, but the textual applause that Miss Cuntbreath left me each week in the margins provided me with a kind of gratification I had never before experienced— praise from an adversary. My writing had managed to pave a common ground in our previously non-existent relationship. Every time I turned in my journal, I found myself in great anticipation of its return, of the copious red-penned comments Miss Cuntbreath would leave on the pages. For some reason, a slutty, fictional pig had awakened something kind and attentive--borderline-nurturing, even--in Miss Cuntbreath. And this, in turn awakened something extremely profound in me. In the wake of a vomit storm, an attention whore I mean writer was born. 


And while I (probably) won't be writing about promiscuous pigs on this blog, while I pray none of you ever have to endure the trauma of scrubbing vomit socks with your bare hands, I do hope that at some point during your time on here, something I write speaks to you in a way that connects us on some completely random, fucked-up level.






Welcome.
 
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