Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fag Science

Straight man on the left, gay man on the right

So how's your scientific gaydar? According to this article in New York magazine, you can tell a person's sexual orientation by the whorl on the back of the head or the length of the index finger. Submitted for your judgment at the end of this post are the aforementioned entities of JunkThief. There doesn't seem to be any mention of the meaning of a particularly protruding cowlick.

Get back to me quickly on this one since I have to choose between that hunky stud or the chick in the Daisy Duke's for the Fourth of July barbecue.
Gay men are more likely than straight men to have a counterclockwise whorl.

The JunkThief "whorl"

The JunkThief hand

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Friday, June 29, 2007

iWon't Buy One Yet

I was in Union Square this afternoon as the line to the Apple store wove up Stockton...
...and further up O'Farrell... news crews took shots....

...of people camped out, some selling their spots for $500 a spot. I, like many, took photos with my Treo (so early 21st century!) while listening to my iPod mini and then checked email. Now, could I do all those things at once with just once device? Perhaps, but I still am in no rush to buy one.
And then there was this guy being pulled in front of Neiman Marcus around the corner. Somebody must have had some great bait, an iPhone perhaps.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

2007: A U-Haul Odyssey, Final Chapter

Every muscle in my body aches. There is a black mark on my right hand where my rings seemed to congeal with the steering wheel. I spent almost two and a half hours making the driving from Morgan Hill to SF this morning that usually takes just over an hour. More than once I grumbled, "What drug was I on to lug this junk and spend so much money and exhaust so much energy on this journey."

And I could not help but be drawn to so many historic jaunts across old Route 66 -- Kerouac, my extended family during the Dust Bowl coming to California to pick fruit, my ex-partner and I journeying through an ice storm in 1996 to begin a new life, me alone in 1998 with all my
offsite belongings after experiencing the miracle of moving from renting to owning a piece of real estate in SF. Unloading and unpacking all the stuff, the value of putting all this "junk" (most of it at least 75 to 150 years old) came back in a flash. A marble table that was in the family home of my great grandmother in Montreal in the last 19th century, my maternal grandparents' dining room set purchased at the time of their 1924 wedding as well as flower pots from their yard in Kansas City and dating back to at least 1933. I'll try not to bore my devoted readers with stories behind this stuff, but the price tag to have all of these things in my universe could never be too high. Though I thought there was little emotion wrapped up in this trip, I am surprised to find now that it is much stronger than I ever realized. And, as someone who considers driving a Saturn around SF a chore, being free of a 17-foot truck is true liberation!

Thanks to all my blogger friends for the kind and encouraging comments along the way. Nothing could be more assuring than pulling into a 76 to put $100 into the tank and see a thoughtful comment pop up on my Treo. (Speaking of which, I may hold off on buying my iPhone. I really don't like the prospect of sending EVERYTHING in for repairs at one time. But yes, I'm sure I'll eventually buy one as part of the larger family of gadgets and gizmos.)

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

On the Edge of Civilization

I never thought that I would describe Gilroy as an urbane, sophisticated place with great restaurants and shops and a mild climate. But after the past two days of weaving through the desert, it sure feels like paradise as I make my final stop before returning to the JunkPlex and unload the treasures from Lazy Acres.

Ah, those final miles of the towns on Route 66/I-40. Don't forget Winona? Oh, I sure wish I could. Having been on the road non-stop since last Thursday and weaving through a total of ten states and more miles than I want to tally, I must say that the folks in those little desert towns were the spookiest. For all the reputation that Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma have for being backwards, they look like Paris compared to Kingman, Needles and Bakersfield. Never have I heard so much crappy country music (yes, a redundant phrase) as I did in those towns. And bad food and horrible radio stations. Arriving in Barstow at 8 a.m. where it was already nearly 90 degrees I had a caffeine orgasm if there is such a thing when I spotted Starbucks. After two days of McDonald's coffee, my java g-spot had me quivering and would have dropped my scowl if it hadn't been for all that friggin' sun. Supposedly McDonald's has upgraded their coffee, but they still use those hideous foam cups that make you feel like you're being baptised in a vat at a Dow Chemical plant.

And Barstow actually had radio stations that were a variation from the only two options during the past 300 miles -- horrific twangy country or screaming evangelicals. Hearing Duran, Duran ask "Is There Something I Should Know?" made my heart race even before I hit Starbucks. Nothing like '80s pop and caffeine to start a good day.

Regardless, I look forward to heading north and home tomorrow. Let's pray no one breaks into my UHaul tonight. UHaul. I hope I don't call that 800 number for at least another decade.

And what i thrill it is to be in even Gilroy where it's in the 70s compared to Ludlow which I went through at 6:20 a.m. before it reached today's high of 116.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Gusty Winds May Exist

Sixteen hours on the road, 778 miles and the upper triple digits in gas purchases (probably more than I put into my Saturn for all of 2006), and still a few hundred miles to go before reaching home. I'm sure everyone is just dying to know the mundane details of this journey, but since my two brain cells are barely functioning, I'll just share a few shots I managed to nab during the day. I promise not to have so many shots of my scowling ugly face once I am back home.

Welcome to the Cadillac ranch...
...with a rather sleazy looking docent to guide you.
Such politically correct, high minded culture here in Arizona!

No remarks on squinting and scowling unless you can smile while staring into the sun when it's 102 degrees.
I didn't stay here but liked the sign.
At the Flagstaff depot.
This must have been taken in...uh...Flagstaff too.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Lone Star Stops

After a late start due to work related issues, JunkThief betrayed his vow to never cross through Texas but had to in order ultimately to reach the Golden State in a timely manner.
Outside the world's largest (and, surprisingly, cleanest) rest stop just east of Groom, Texas.
At Amarillo's landmark Big Texan Steakhouse, home of the 72 ounce steak. Yes, squinting and scowling because this was taken into the setting sun. No, dinner was not had there but down the street at Bennigan's. Bad, but not as bad as this place.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Grapes of Wrath - 2007 Version

JunkThief has packed up the U-Haul with items from Lazy Acres for the route west. The vehicle is filled at about 8% capacity since his requestion cargo van was not available, and this was the smallest vehicle available in the state. Either hell or an adventure begins tomrrow.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Junk Thief In the Show Me State - Day 2

Five was just too ridiculously small, and they were all out of ten. I settled for seven which was fine but left me wishing for more.

Yes, it jiggled, but that was about all I can say for it.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Junk Thief In the Show Me State

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer Horror Flick

(Caution: This post deals with issues that some readers may find disturbing, especially those who are frightened by humans whose age is in the lower end of the single digits. Aunty Christ, that would be you.)

I've said it before and I'll say it plenty more times before I leave this earth: why do the wrong people travel? After a winter of ice and snow storms that convinced me never again to travel in the winter, I am now beginning to think summer is even worse. I thought I'd seen the height of descending plane turbulence earlier this month during my flight into O'Hare earlier this month, but that was a walk in the park compared to coming into Denver this afternoon. When the pilot screams out "Flight attendants be seated -- NOW!" you know it's going to be more than a bumpy flight.

Adding to the
agony were those damned monitors that showed our speed and altitude. We were at 12,000 feet and bouncing, then at 14,100 trying to go back down, then 11,000, then back to 13,000, then 10,800 as the windows sounded like they were about the shatter, now back up to 15,000. And as if this weren't agony enough with half the plane clutching rosaries, there must have been 30 babies on that plane. Yes, I said babies, those ugly miniature Orson Welleses pooping their diapers and screaming at ear damaging volume, and of course we'd passed the point of not being allowed to use electronic devices to drown out the volume. No phrase in the English language is more redundant than "ugly baby." Why, oh, why must people travel with those foul little creatures in tight confined spaces?

What about all those empty cargo cars on the Rock Island line? Those little creatures could scream to their hearts' content across the Mojave Desert while their parents could have a break for a few days until their "precious" cargo arrived at
their destination. Snakes on Plane was supposed to be a horror movie? Not one tenth as scary as a plane load of babies.

Just shy of babies, the second most annoying travelers are tourists coming to San Francisco. I've made the mistake of being in Union Square a few times the past couple of weeks, and they are stumbling around awe struck at whatever there is to be awe struck about San Francisco. Oh, wow, it has hills and homosexuals! Woo-hoo! Getting off the BART yesterday evening at Powell Street, a horde of them just arriving from the airport stormed in front of me toward the exit and then, all ten of them with their roller boards behind them, stopped dead in their tracks standing abreast and stopping all traffic behind them as they fumbled in their pockets for their tickets in order to exit. As I weaved through them, a women offered blandly, "Oh, I guess we're in your way."
I bet these are the same people who lurk around the boarding gate when they're calling zone 1 even though they are zone 7.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Momento de Miguel - En Concierto en Ciuadad de Mexico 2004

I held off getting into Miguel’s Por vos muero for the longest time. It was too close to Celine Dion country for me, but slowly it won me over, a mix of what he calls Don Juan and Lord Byron, and en español to boot (though obviously in French for this track). Tonight I finally broke down and nabbed the DVD of Por vos Muero in concert in Mexico City. Well, it does have Celine Dion moments of melodrama, but while she belches out painful notes like an organ grinder’s money grubbing monkey in her Vegas tabernacle, Miguel can actually sing and dance. And, most importantly, unlike Celine, he is stunning to look at. Watching this Spaniard enchant a crowd of Mexicans gives one hope that the new and old worlds can reach across the big pond. If only the U.S. were half as enlightened as Mexico and the rest of Latin America where at least Colombia considered gay marriage. In the meantime the U.S. is ruled by a Texan Evangelical cracker whose five brain cells were brought down to two during his 1970s cocaine use. There is an amusing moment in Miguel's concert when he compares the difference between men and women and asks if women are jealous of not being able to have an erection and then says what a joy it is to have one. Miguel, if only you knew how many times your name, joy and erection have come up in the same sentence for me!

If Republicans continue to stranglehold this pathetic nation in 2008 there is no question I’m moving to Spain. Fuck, what am I waiting for, I could move there tomorrow and have a husband and he’d be a Spaniard!

With all of his melodramatic cheese and operatic flourishes, it's hard to wonder why Miguel and not Antonio Bandares did not star in Nine. He obviously has the superior voice and theatricality and can find his way through English, albeit with a strong lisp. Then again, Antonio married Melanie Griffith while Miguel has yet to officially answer the eternal "Is he or isn't he?" question. M-kay, how dense must one be to not confirm, he is?

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P5 Remixed by JunkThief

And here is my very first YouTube video posted 11 months ago heralding the arrival of the JunkThief empire. What a year, what a ride! Or, to quote those deep lyrics: "La la la la la lalalalala la..."

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Pizzicato Christmas in June

With the first anniversary of JunkThief just around the corner, I wanted to ring in the season by posting the full P5 video with the tune that was used in our first promo commercial from a year ago. My favorite part is around 3:35 with the close up of the "angel". This really brings back memories of the early to mid-1990s when I did a lot of Asia travel, flying into Tokyo Narita on a cold winter night, the city abuzz with energy.

Summer Rerun/Reunion

Since I am heading off tomorrow for a family reunion, I thought it was an appropriate time to repost one of my favorite but most overlooked episodes of JunkThief TV about my family history. It may be a yawn inducer for many since it takes place in the pre-World War I era but does involve suicide, “bachelors” and travel. It also explains my roots in the Midwest and why I am happy to visit there but could never go back. And, just to ease the shock, I thought I would reveal that the reunion is in Branson, Missouri, perhaps one of the most surreal places on the planet, up there with Segou, Mali. Although most of my family is now from Oregon, Michigan, California, Oklahoma, Georgia and New York, the roots go back to southwest Missouri, and it has been in this “resort” community of the Ozarks that they choose to meet each summer. It’s always interesting to see the hyper-intellectual Oregonians and New Yorkers and the all-you-can-eat-buffet loving railroad engineers converge. I hope I survive to tell the tale.

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Jew Bating

Though there is something bizarrely amusing about hearing headlines on the order of "Jew Faces Charges" or "Jew in Big Trouble" or "City Tells Jew to Leave", it is even more enjoyable to see the signs in his support. The sign with the subject-verb disagreement and missing apostrophe in the middle is the best. I wonder where the 12 Galaxies guy stands on this issue? Or does Ed Jew actually live in the 9th galaxy? Why waste money on cable for Comedy Central when you have San Francisco city politics?

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Not for the first time, I seem to be slow on the uptake of a couple of recent departures in San Francisco.

I have been inside of Tad's Steakhouse on Powell Street perhaps twice in my life and avoided the toxic looking steaks my Heartland friends gobbled down with penny-pinching glee. I braved my way through an iceberg lettuce salad with shredded lettuce and ranch dressing while admiring its famed velvet wallpaper. It always looked like the place they would film some gay porn epic fantasia about rent boys of the Gold Rush days.

There doesn't seem to be any mention of it closing on any of the local media sites, but it certainly looked out of business when I zipped by this evening. I doubt that I would have ever gone back in there, but it was sort of a familiar point on the compass that seemed to keep the universe in balance. Unlike some crap hole like Lori's Diner, it was the sort of tacky tourist trap that gives you comfort in knowing that it's there and that there are still people out there that would gravitate to such a place.

Far sadder was the loss of Trevor Hailey, long-time Castro tour guide and subject of a new documentary last week at the Frameline film festival. I never "knew" her, but she was a familiar fixture in my neighborhood. No, not the Castro, but the neighboring Mission. I recall often seeing her lug a bucket of the Colonel's original recipe from KFC on Valencia long before it dreamed of becoming Spork to her tidy two-story Italianate frame home on the east side of Lexington between 21st and 20th. It was a pleasure to hear her raspy Mississippi accent and what appeared to be an ever joyous spirit.

Too sad to have lost her at 66, she will be missed.

UPDATE: Since I was in a hurry when I snapped those photos of Tad's l
ast night, it was bugging me all day that I might have been wrong in reporting that the place was closed. I was back in the neighborhood tonight and felt I should take a moment to check a bit more. Well, I was correct. Tad's is closed. But, they are closed for repairs with signs promising that they will be back soon.

Now, I've heard similar things at other places where the "restoration" goes on for years while the owners broker a price for the real estate. Let's pray that some Prada boutique does not go in there instead of our beloved pie-loving tourists from Milwaukee and Omaha.

So, Bryce, I hope you've not done anything drastic like move to Fargo. And if it's any further comfort, the Gold Dust lounge is still open, and it was just popping with folks from Charlotte and Spokane kicking back $2 margaritas as I walked by.

Rest assured, my beloved JunkThieves, all is well on the Barbary Coast. However, I'm a little disappointed that no one seems to care that Trevor Hailey died. Come on guys, she was a sweetheart!

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Hey, I honestly am listening to what's being said on this conference call about the impact of multi-lateral aid while checking out the construction workers banging away on the 19th century foundation they are retrofitting next door. Retrofitting and banging are coming up in my conversation quite often this week.

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Gentle Thoughts, Gentle Thoughts

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Monday, June 18, 2007

I Came Very Close, Then I Changed My Mind

If there was any question that this is the Monday of a week where I feel stressed by the need to have things in order to be away from work for seven days, any doubt was eased by 8:02 a.m. Why is it that the most ridiculously inappropriate job applicants always come in before you've started the second cup of coffee.

"The best part of my last job? The people. I just love people. I'm a people person." (I didn't invent that. She actually said it.)

Add on to that the fact that our server crashing five times during a very contentious 90 minute Skype conference call with people in three countries and four time zones, and I was fried well before 1 p.m. (And at 7:05 p.m. PST as I am writing this some fool is calling me on my home office phone.) I was trapped on the phone for 4.75 hours! Anyone who knows and loves me can confirm that any phone call that lasts more than 90 seconds is torture to me. I spit on the grave of Alexander Graham Bell! Did I mention that my external hard drive crashed last week, and I had to stand in line for 45 minutes to take that in for repairs.

And the proposal mentioned last week keeps getting more complex as the deadline keeps getting pushed back. Don't give me more time, I just want the damned thing out the door.

Yes, I wielded that thing seen in the picture for a few minutes as ideas filled my tiny little brain, and not to shave off the facial hair. For those who said my scowling pictures made them shudder to think what I looked like when I was not happy, well here you go! And then I took a deep breath and focused my thoughts on fawns grazing in an April meadow. Positive thoughts, positive thoughts...

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Code Brown Warning: Lower Your Voice!

"Blogging isn't a particularly good training for writing. There's too much voice, in a way."

Tina Brown
New York Magazine
18 June 2007

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This Dream Is Big Enough for All of Us to Share!

Thanks to "Gavin Elster" over at Sequoia Sempervirens for alerting me to this hilarious video. For the one year anniversary of JunkThief coming up in a few weeks, I'm inviting all my blogroll buddies to help recreate this little ensemble numbers with their webcams. Can anyone help us track down Soleil Moon Frye to join us? Come on, you know the words -- "We are a family, and we are growing free..."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Gentrification Not Yet Complete

My neighbor that works at NetFlix now has two BMWs, the one-story cottage across the street reportedly sold for seven figures and the lines get longer each Sunday morning at the St. Francis Fountain -- all signs of the changes afoot in my part of San Francisco. Yet, my little corner of the Mission is not yet Noe Valley let alone Chestnut Street. (Like that will ever happen.) In case you need evidence, witness these two sights from this afternoon. The fellow a few inches away from my entry gate arrived around 5 p.m. (A cop came by and sent him on his way seconds after I snapped this shot.) Fifteen years ago this would have been heart-breaking and would have made my heart race. I can't say I've lost compassion for people in such a situation, but I didn't feel compelled to invite him in for a shower and a chance to sleep it off. If Joe Buck had walked by in looked down in dismay, would I be one more of the callous urban dwellers that walked by the scene as if it were no more routine than a discarded candy bar wrapper on the street? In my neighborhood discarded gin bottles are more common than Baby Ruth wrappers. I am sure there is a story behind this man. I'm sure it would probably make me cry were I to hear all of it.

The TV set which has been there since Wednesday has yet to disappear. If anyone who'd like it, I'll gladly deliver it to your door. I may deliver it to someone's door whether they want it or not.

Since the only apparel stores in the 'hood at the moment are $99 stores and women's vintage shops, I had to go up the hill to Noe Valley to grab a pair of new Rabat shoes and Hobo Por Tour bag, sort of in between a bike messenger bag and an outright purse. I promise to do my part for Pride Week by escaping the big parade hear and parading around with them while in Missouri next weekend.

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Beautiful Budd But No Cigar

Although I bought it at least a couple of months ago, I had never gotten around to viewing my copy of the DVD release of 1962’s big screen take on Melville’s Billy Budd. Though I’ve read it, heard excerpts of the opera and attended an early screening of Beau Travail, the post-modern take on the tale, I had never seen my own copy of it.

Friend and fellow blogger/writing group member The Blue Elephant has been trying for weeks to arrange for a screening, and it all finally came together last night with a circle of his friends over a wonderful Thai meal and viewing on a home big screen bigger and with a better sound system than at most of the theaters at The Opera Plaza or the Lumiere.

The film held up to its reputation, but I’m not sure I’d call it homoerotic. Homocentric is perhaps more accurate. While I’d agree that Terrence Stamp is mesmerizing, pretty and angelic, I never found there to be much about him, in this role at least, erotic. I know that many would disagree with me on that count, and it probably speaks volumes about what appeals to me. Since childhood, I’ve always been drawn to Goofus more than Gallant, the dangerous scoundrel, not the angelic do-gooder.

Pleasant find of the weekend was a $9 Japanese labeled DVD of Steven Soderbergh’s Kafka. A decade and a half later it holds up much better than I remember it from the original release, if only for seeing the grossly under-rated Theresa Russell whom I’d completely forgotten was in it. Even if it has more in comon with The Third Man than Kafka himself or anything he wrote, it has plenty of intriguing moments. The same cannot be said for the reworking of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari which has a somewhat similar look and aims for a similar vibe by bringing spoken dialogue to the 1919 masterpiece. When a somnambulist is given spoken dialogue, it loses all the mystery.

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Gay Rights vs. James Holsinger Democracy Now! 15 June '07

Okay, after bashing Michael Moore on Friday, I know that I’m putting myself at risk of being bashed by posting this. But this Democracy Now segment on the Holsinger nomination is one of the best I’ve seen out there on what the country might be in for if he were nominated. I know that some people hate Amy Goodman as much if not more than Michael Moore, but I appreciate her as a sane and rational voice in media. She is certainly starry-eyed in her idealism and clearly one-sided in the views that she presents. But since her views don’t make it into mainstream media, I would much prefer to see this than a shouting match between Ann Coulter and any rational voice as an exercise in “showing both sides.” Maybe I just enjoy hearing Goodman’s calm voice in the morning so I don’t get indigestion for breakfast.

I won’t dignify the post by the nihilistic Fred Phelps, whom I am increasingly agreeing just might be a neo-dadaist performance artist, who says that America is further doomed because Holsinger’s nomination won’t go through. For once I hope he’s right.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pretty and in No Way Relevant

Just because I'm tired of Michael Moore's ugly face being at the top of my blog, I wanted to open with somethng sweet and pretty for folks in case they woke to start their day with my page. I'm sending out positive vibes, positive vibes...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Fahrenheit 911 Pounds

Will someone please stick a pacifier in Michael Moore’s mouth and just make him shut up? The more I see him, the more he annoys me with his efforts to serve as the self-appointed advocate for the marginalized. At least he’s moved away from the “regular working guy” drag of cap and flannel shirt to hipper glasses and basic black.

When some of my supposedly "with it" friends take offense at me calling this fat fuck an annoying, self-righteous blow hard, I refuse to back down. The fact that Cannes honored the rambling, repetitive, over-long Fahrenheit 9/11 as some great work of art shows just how bad the U.S. image is in the world that the French would give him an award for such an incompetent piece of work. Besides being inept as a film-maker, Moore is reckless with journalistic accuracy because he feels he’s telling some “greater truth”.

He uses many of the same techniques that Rush Limbaugh and his ilk on the Right employ in their supposed education of the masses. Supposed progressives should have more vision and creativity than to gravitate to someone like Moore who is a mirror image of Fox News and other sloppy, didactic tools. Beyond that, I have several friends in documentary film who say that as a professional colleague Moore is opportunistic, dishonest, verbally abusive and an all around major jerk. Oh, and it appears that he eats well.

Needless to say Gavin Newsom is gushing about how brave he is and how much he loves Moore. Indeed, there is so much of Michael to love.

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Propaganda, Reruns and Toys

When I used to travel to Vietnam for work back in the late 1990s, I was always amused that instead of being introduced as the PR coordinator of my organization I was called the propaganda minister. Propaganda in the U.S. has always been a dirty word, and we’ve deluded ourselves into saying we don’t have any even though we’re bombarded by it daily.

So I was pleased to know about the release of the four disc animated Soviet Propaganda films. It’s still a bit pricey for my tates at close to $100, but I’m sure it will eventually make it to my library, and last night I had great fun watching the Capitalist Sharks with six groovy little films. The best was called The Shareholder from 1963 that followed a factory worker named Michael Chase who is deluded into thinking that his life is secure because he holds one share of stock even though everything he owns was bought on credit. The little film has a wonderfully sexy, jazzy score and rhythm and twisted but not inaccurate view of American consumerism.

I could easily end up buying the entire series, and Soviet animation inspired, in part, the season finale of JunkThief TV. (My current profile photo is from that episode.) Speaking of which, I’m taking a hiatus on the little videos and can’t say exactly when we’ll return. Though there’ve been some nice comments and introductions, I have to admit that folks have not exactly been in tears while the screen is dark for a while. In the meantime, enjoy the reruns.

In the meantime I may have to follow WAT's lead and invest in this great little entertainment device. Hours of chills and thrills without ever leaving the comfort of your home.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Reproductive Rights for Cat Partners!

Besides the referred to movie, these illustrations have nothing to do with this post besides the fact that they were sights from this evening's walk as this post formed in my over-worked little brain. This is how my mind works. Talk about Strange Maps!

I’ve been watching Cat Girl Kiki this evening with the English subtitles turned off. For some reason it seems to make a heck of a lot more sense that way. It’s a good alternative to what’s been going on the rest of this week. Something called work. It’s pretty typical that I put in 50-60 hours a week. Not exactly the killer hours of my youth but probably above average. This week I’ve probably already put in 80 hours and plan to have a somewhat saner Friday. I had a coworker in town this week for a variety of foundation visits and work on a killer proposal. If I have to utter the words “reproductive health” or “uterine prolapse” one more time I will friggin’ freak out.

Non-profit culture often means that visiting coworkers do homestays when they are in town, something that I do not offer the way I used to, but this visitor is one I liked and we had a shitload of issues to cover. That meant 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. workdays, but we got a lot accomplished.

In the midst of all of that we had a variety of discussions on some of the most random of topics and the intent behind words. One phrase that we analyzed or over-analyzed is the term is reproductive health itself. Although I’ve raised a few million for this topic, I have never taken that much time to think about my own reproductive health. Guess what, I really don’t ever plan to use my reproductive organs for, well, you know that. So does that mean that I have no reproductive health? I’m sure that Surgeon General nominee James Holsinger (sorry, I refuse to refer to him as “Dr.” since we’re on the subtleties of nomenclature.) would say that my reproductive health needs a good dose of Drano to use his grotesque plumbing metaphors. I guess he gets out the monkey wrench when he and Mrs. Holsinger are feeling a little jiggy. If you aren’t aware of this quack and have any concern about the future of public health, be sure to go to the Human Right Campaign’s site and send this letter to your member of Congress.

Another word of annoyance that came up in our conversation is “partner.” When supposedly progressive employers hold gatherings for staff and their families, everyone is encouraged to “bring your partner.” Does this offend me because I don’t have one or because I haven’t gotten laid in a while? Or is it something deeper, more primal and condescending on the order of “Oh, since we’re so progressive we’ll call our husbands and wives partners so it feels as if we’re all equal.” It really feels like asking people with gaping head wounds whether they prefer to have cocoa or mint tea while waiting in line in the emergency room.

Mind you, I am all for employers embracing a comprehensive definition of domestic partners including allowing unmarried straight people to claim their significant others. However, I doubt that even the most progressive employer would allow me to claim my main squeeze of the past 18 years, my cat Bunter, as my domestic partner. That thought has certainly entered my head since he’s due for a check up at the vet in July. If, in the perfect Kafkaesque/Cat Girl Kiki world, I woke up tomorrow to find Bunter transformed into the adorable Yoshiro, the male lead of that movie, I’d sign him up in a second. On second thought, I love my cat partner just the way he is.

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