Sunday, July 29, 2007

I am *so* going to Hell for this...

Y’know, I think we should all sit down & write a letter to Pope Benedict, asking His Holiness to institute a few changes to the Catholic Church. A lot of people have left the Church in light of outmoded restrictions and some rather embarrassing scandals. Tell you what; I’ll only ask for two really major changes right off the bat, and we’ll see how it goes from there. How about that?

1. Allow priests to marry
2. Allow birth control

Pretty much every other Christian religion allows their clergy to marry and have families. Judaism allows rabbis to marry. Islamic clerics can marry. Yet, the Catholic Church forbids it. Catholic priests must be celibate, and therefore pure of thought and deed, which on paper sounds like a very noble sacrifice to a higher calling. However, people are people. Human beings have urges. Without the healthy sexual release of a committed monogamous marriage in holy matrimony, dudes can get a little buggy, especially considering the Church forbids self-gratification too.

So then why is it that hundreds of thousands of kids get molested by Catholic priests? Certainly there are isolated incidents of predation and abuse by clerics of other faiths, but not on the wholesale level that has scandalized the Catholic Church. It's cost the Church millions and millions of dollars in reparations and mass defections of the flock to safer religious outposts. So, lighten up and let priests marry like the rest of the Judeo-Christian (and Muslim) world.

Now, about that birth control issue… Sure, we were told to be fruitful and multiply. But it’s sinful and downright irresponsible, in my humble yet correct opinion, to encourage the world to keep on producing people they can’t afford and that they can’t take care of. Entire corners of the globe are teeming seas of humanity, with rampant poverty and starvation, and yet you keep on encouraging us to breed more little followers for your Church.

That story might have been able to fly in the year 1095, when Pope Urban II sent thousands of soldiers to “liberate” Palestine on the Crusades, and the all-powerful Church needed to keep breeding soldiers to throw away in a fruitless war of conquest, as well as breeding more followers to keep the Church in power as a Force Unto Itself, but them times they be a-changin’.

By 1291 you guys finally stopped beating your heads against the walls on the Crusades, and now 716 years later, maybe it’s time to stop pushing the breeding program so assiduously, unless you’re planning another push to oust the Islamics out of the Middle East again? If so, then good luck.

World Series of Hopscotch

On my way home from work Friday night, everyone at the radio station news desks were all a-twitter because Barry Bonds had hit another home run, and was now just one homer away from tying the record of Hank Aaron. I pity the pitcher who serves up the record-breaking home-run to Bonds. He’ll be the biggest goat to stand on a mound since Charlie Brown.

I’m trying like hell to NOT pay attention to it, because I feel Bonds hasn’t earned it honestly. Can Barry hit? Sure. But what good is a record if you got all juiced up in order to break it?

I feel like a turd now for giving a rat’s ass about watching the race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998 to break Roger Maris’ single-season home-run record (about which Sports Illustrated said “… for conducting their great home run race with such dignity, joy and openness, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa are Sports Illustrated’s Sportsmen of the Year.”). Both have been implicated in steroid use, though both denied it. Sosa caught hell a couple years ago in a corked-bat inscident, too. Hank Aaron and Roger Maris sure as shit weren’t juiced.

Back in May, I made mention of how football was rife with players who had been arrested on myriad charges, and now Michael Vick has pretty much shitted away his 130 million dollar contract by being implicated in a dog-fighting ring. Yes, he’s innocent until proven guilty, and so far he’s only been indicted on charges of owning a property where dogs raised for fighting were bred. But there’s also a lotta talk about him personally killing dogs who didn’t measure up in training against other dogs for the requisite viciousness, and for allegedly being up to his well-paid ass in the whole dog-fighting world. I hope for his sake, the sake of the game, and the sake of the good people of Atlanta, that he’s innocent.

Alberto Contador of Spain just won the 2007 Tour de France, a Tour that was riddled with scandals about doping and cheating. The sport as a whole is imploding with everyone from their commissioner on down pointing fingers at every rider in the sport, and people are still trying to say Lance Armstrong cheated, two years after he retired.

Basketball got a huge black eye this past week when it was alleged that one of their referees had been betting on games he was reffing and could have bookie ties to the Mob. Oh, dear. That’s not good.

But on June 22d, 2007, the NHL held their 45th annual entry draft and nobody knew, because nobody pushed the TV coverage. I had to try & watch it as a streaming feed online. Once again, hockey gets shit on while other sports get away with being more tainted than a stream near Chernobyl. On May 19, during the Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals Game 5 between Ottawa and Buffalo, NBC screwed the pooch royally by skipping out of OVERTIME and going directly to their Preakness Stakes pre-race coverage (a horse racing broadcast generally contains several hours of pre-race coverage and interviews, and approximately 2 minutes of actual racing). The OT was televised on Versus, a cable channel found in about 9 households nationwide. I was watching that game, and really wanted to see if Buffalo could keep their playoff run alive by winning this crucial game, and instead I got to watch rich people in stupid hats watch other people walking a bunch of horses around a muddy field for almost an hour before they started their 2-minute run. Shitheads…

On Friday, July 20, 2007 there was a full-page ad taken out in the USA Today newspaper by ESPN, Harrah’s Casino, and Milwaukee’s Best Light (*gag*) showing a huge picture of a smiling man holding up a watch and surrounded by what appears to be huge stacks of cash. The ad was congratulating Jerry Yang on winning the World Series of Poker Main Event.

Are you shitting me? According to USA Today’s own website, a full-page color ad on a Friday costs $205, 600.00. Yes, you read that right. Over 200 Large. They dropped 200 GRAND to congratulate a dude who plays cards for a living. ESPN covers a fucking card game better than they cover ice hockey. It’s a CARD GAME, not a sport. And the multi-day coverage of the Scripps National Spelling Bee? That was a kick in the balls to all hockey fans, thank you very much. Since when has SPELLING been an athletic pursuit? Most of those kids look like they were picked last for everything at recess and ended up spelling words like “prospicience” to fill their afternoons. (How do you think I learned to be such a good writer? It wasn’t by playing kickball in the schoolyard...) ESPN has even covered competitive eating and professional paintball. Grown adults get PAID to shoot each other with nuggets of lime green paint? Wow…and don’t get me started on Paper/Rock/Scissors. I feel the vein in my forehead twitching already.

Spelling is not a sport. Poker is not a sport. Eating is not a sport. Shooting your buddy in the nuts with a CO2 gun is not a sport. And, I assure you, Paper/Rock/Scissors is nowhere near a fucking sport despite what those assclowns at ESPN think. You have doping scandals in bike racing, steroid use is tainting baseball, football is chock full o’ crime, NASCAR drivers and crew chiefs keep getting fined and docked points for rules infractions, half the games in basketball are being called into question for points-shaving, and the only time hockey gets a mention is when Chris Pronger shows his ass again and does a shitty check.

We interrupt this blog to bring you exciting play by play coverage of the 2007 World Championship of Combat Tiddlywinks….

Can I get a little service?

Somebody please tell me WTF ever happened to service?

I don’t ask for much at a fast-food place, really. I want a modicum of cheerfulness, a decent price, decent food, and no hassles if I do happen to have an issue or if I ask for something different like no onions or extra pickles. I do however expect a wee bit more at a sit-down establishment, like please don’t let my sweet tea run dry and if there’s a problem, please fix it without spitting in my food. I actually tip well for good service because I know that service staffs have a tough job.

This said, why oh why am I besieged constantly with surly teen (and adult) assclowns who act like doing the fucking job they were hired to do is simply too much to ask? I’m talking to YOU, the snotty mumbling kid at Subway who doles out veggies like the Soup Nazi and acts like a few extra olives are coming straight out of your paycheck. I’m talking to YOU, bitchy Arby’s manager who won’t make a wrap out of fried chicken fingers instead of grilled, and act like an extra cup of honey mustard from the kitchen is gonna bankrupt the corporation. I’m talking to YOU, money-hungry owners of the Greek place across town who have the cherries to charge $2.50 for a shot glass worth of extra dressing and have the audacity to print in the menu that you expect us to leave at least a 15% tip. That’s balls. That’s 15% on an overpriced ball of cheese with 2 drops of sauce that you dared to call a pizza, and still let the Cokes run dry.

Look, people, don’t go into the service industry if you aren’t prepared to give service. That’s sort of the central core of the job, no? I know it’s midnight on a Sunday at Steak & Shake and you don’t want to be here, but put down the cell phone and get me some more tea, please. I’m thirsty. And if your sole function is to ensure that the breakfast bar at a hotel is fully stocked, then dammit make sure there’s food on it till you close and at least try to manage a fucking smile. And hey, learn a few more words in English too while you’re at it. The majority of people in Orlando, tourist or not, speak English. Yes, I’m talking to you.

I absolutely dread going to a drive-thru anymore. Invariably the sullen minimum-wage shitbird in the window is gonna mumble incoherently into the speakerbox (I had to learn that “Dry Roww” meant “Thank you for your order, please drive around.”) And then they fuck your order up so bad that it’s just smarter to go inside. This past Wednesday was a perfect example. My co-worker went to the drive-thru at McNasty’s to get lunch and when he got back to the break room he found that not only did they not put any ranch on his McRanch McChicken McSammich, they had instead used like 2 drops of McMayo and gave him no extra packets. Again, people act like a couple extra packets of ketchup or an extra sweet and sour sauce for your McNugz will collapse the World Bank and usher in Chaos and the Apocalypse.

There are, however, a couple notable exceptions. The crew at the Sonic that I go to are always chipper and happy to accommodate. And I don’t think I have ever had a bad experience at Chik-Fil-A anywhere in America. Most of the crew on duty at any given time are polite church-goers barely past their 16th birthday and are unfailingly polite. Not once has any of them given me just cause to want to drag one of them across the counter for a tune up. They are well-spoken, well-groomed, pleasant kids who all seem like productive members of polite society (perhaps in Stepford) as opposed to oxygen-wasting sacks of protoplasm whose sole brain cell died of loneliness as they pondered today’s episode of Maury.

If you hate your job, get a new one. In the meanwhile, do your job. And can I get a couple more napkins, please?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lindsay Lohan derails again....CRASH!!!! BOOM!!!

I swear, kids, some days this shit just writes itself

Noted trainwreck Lindsay Lohan was arrested in Santa Monica early Tuesday morning on suspicion of drunken driving and a plethora of other charges after a brief car chase.

Police responded to a call originating from a residential section of Santa Monica of one SUV chasing another. Lohan, driving a 2004 Yukon that doesn't belong to her, (since her Mercedes is all fucked up still from her previous two crashes) was chasing a 2007 Escalade being driven by the mother of Lohan's personal assistant, according to police. Police found Lohan and the woman in a "heated debate" in the parking lot of Santa Monica's Civic Auditorium at about 1:30 a.m.

Little Miss Trouble was searched at the police station and a small amount of cocaine was found in her pocket, says a Santa Monica police spokesman. Lohan – who was wearing her now-famous and ever-so-stylish alcohol-detection ankle bracelet at the time of her arrest – was booked for DUI, possession of cocaine, transporting a narcotic into a custody facility and driving on a suspended license.

Two Breathalyzer tests determined Lohan's blood-alcohol level was .12 percent and .13 (the legal limit is .08). She also took a urine test, and may face an additional charge of driving under the influence of a controlled substance if cocaine is found in her system according to police.

So much for making any talk-show stops this week to promote your new movie, huh, Linz? Rob Schneider filled in for you on Leno last night and frankly, was just as entertaining but with smaller tits. Lohan has released a statement proclaiming her innocence, of course, and says the blow ain’t hers.

Last week Lohan surrendered and was formally booked on misdemeanor charges of DUI and hit-and-run stemming from a May car crash. Only 11 days ago she completed a six-week stint in rehab at Promises, a treatment center in Malibu. See, kids, if you’re a famous person busted for DUI, you get to skip out on being arrested until you can very publicly go to rehab and give your publicist time to perform spin control, so that when you get released, you issue statements and quietly take care of the legal issues that us normal people would already have been booked on and jailed overnight on.

I hope she kept the receipt from her stint at Promises, (or is it Broken Promises?) so she can get her money back. Those people at Promises must be pretty damned embarrassed right now too. She just turned 21 on July 2, and has already got a record as long as my arm for alcohol-related offenses. Of course, she’s a celebrity and underage drinking rules don’t apply if you’re rich and famous.

If convicted on all charges, she could face up to six years behind bars, NBC News reports. In Los Angeles of course, that means that if convicted, she could spend up to 72 hours in jail.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Definition of a Mojosexual

About 4 years ago, after I kicked everyone’s ass in a game of Battle of the Sexes, my cousin’s boyfriend (now her husband) joked to me that I was “one sexual preference away from being a raging homosexual”. I wasn’t offended and took the comment in the spirit in which it was intended. I knew what he meant.

I’m an avowed, strict, devout heterosexual. Of that there’s never been a doubt in my mind. But there are a lot of habits and mannerisms I have that over the years have caused others to kinda wonder at times. I’m a little high-maintenance about my grooming and clothes at times. I like to shop, I’m a good cook on an eclectic experimental level and I watch FoodTV, I never played any sports in school, I don’t really like strip clubs, I know a bit about wines, I own a kilt, and as they said in the film Steel Magnolias, all gay men have track lighting and all gay men are named Mark, Rick, or Steve. Well…..I don’t have track lighting but I do like it, and we already know my name.

But then you look into my music collection. I’ve always been a huge fan of synth-pop and club music, basically the average playlist at most gay clubs. Bands like Erasure, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Morrissey, and The Cure don’t exactly conjure up images of manly hunters and Viking warriors. It gets especially bad when I start singing along to ABBA.

A couple years ago there was a term bandied about that was pretty trendy, the word “metrosexual”. Metrosexual is a word describing men who have a strong concern for their aesthetic appearance, and spend a substantial amount of time and money on their images and lifestyles. In an article at, writer Mark Simpson stated "The typical metrosexual is a young man with money to spend, living in or within easy reach of a metropolis – because that's where all the best shops, clubs, gyms and hairdressers are."

I looked at being “metro” as an interesting nomenclature. Straight guys in touch with the finer aesthetics in life, as opposed to knuckle-dragging uber-male assholes in tatterred jeans & flip flops and their douchebag sidekicks. But there were just a few snags…

It’s hard to be a self-absorbed Metro when you’re: A) Not self-absorbed, and B) not posessing an unlimited supply of disposeable income to pamper one’s self with. Instead, I offer you, the Modern Man of the Milennium, a new and improved social label with which to grace yourself. If you’re between 21 and 45, concerned about being stylish without looking like a total foppish douchebag, and want to take care of yourself without breaking the bank or seeming like Richard Simmons, I have your new label. Doesn’t matter whether you’re straight, bi, gay, or like to self-gratify using pats of nootrishus butter, I have your label. You, my friend, are the Mojosexual Male.

The Mojosexual is a guy who has flair without being ostentatious, is well-read and able to acclimate to any social situation, and takes care of himself without busting the bank. A Mojosexual Male looks good without looking high-maintenance, and more importantly, without truly acting or being high maintenance. Being labeled Metro died a couple years ago after Queer Eye For The Straight Guy crapped out and the newness of the word faded. The Mojosexual is a classicly modern Rennaissance Man unconcerned about trendy crap.

In homage to Glenn O’Brien, The Style Guy for GQ Magazine, I want to extend my services to my loyal readers. In the coming weeks I’ll teach you, my Mojo Minions, with tips on how to take care of your skin, how to shave without looking like you were raped by a cheese grater, how to tame that mop you call hair, how to accessorize your wardrobe on a working man’s budget, maybe learn ya’ a bit about wine and good food, and answer any style questions you might have. Feel free to email any lifetsyle questions to me at . The Mojosexual Males demand to be heard, and I’m listening.

It's Crumbelievable....

It’s always sad to see your favorite songs from your teen years get whored out to advertise crappy products in commercials. It’s just a weak-assed attempt by ad makers pandering to my generation of now-grownup alternative/new-wave music fans and use our sacred icons to pry the money from our wallets. Couldn’t they just get Barry Manilow to write a shitty jingle, like he did for Dr. Pepper?

These are in contrast to songs that actually became popular after they were in commercials, notably the Mitsubishi commercials that made pop songs out of "Days Go By" by Dirty Vegas and "Breathe" by Telepopmusik. I'd never heard of either song prior to the commercials.

A few years ago I was appalled that Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough” was being used in a GAP ad. I thought Mode would never sell out, and then it occurred to me that DM doesn’t own that song; Vince Clarke does. He wrote it and owns it, so it was his right to make money off it. Sad that he used it in such a shitty way, advertising crap clothes on underfed children. In 2004 the song again was used, to sell the Hyundai Accent, though I never saw that ad. Earlier this year, the song was also used in commercials and trailers for the mediocre Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore film “Music and Lyrics”, but the song appears NOWHERE in the movie. It was merely bait. I’m not against my favorite music artists having songs in movies, not at all. But to just be used as bait? That’s sad.

Robert Smith of The Cure allowed “I Dig You” (a track done under the name Cult Hero) to be used by, but I seem to have missed that one too, and in order to get support for their Connect The Dots box set, he allowed HP to use “Pictures of You” in an ad about photo editing. I almost choked on my tongue when the Basement Jaxx started selling Pringles tater chips with "Where's Your Head At?"

U2 whored out the song “Vertigo” for the Apple iPod and the U2 special iPod.. Back in the late 90’s, Mazda butchered the classic song by The Nails, “88 Lines about 44 Women”, to sell cars. The Ramones let Nissan, AT&T, and Diet Pepsi use “Blitzkrieg Bop”. Devo was desperate enough to let Swiffer kill “Whip It”. Noted Christian darlings Sixpence None the Richer amusingly let their cover of The La’s song “There She Goes” be used to sell birth control pills. Wendy’s ruined the classic Violent Femmes track “Blister In the Sun” (as well as using Benny Benassi’s thumping club hit “Satisfaction”). Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life is all over the place, most notably selling Caribbean cruises (and Fords in the UK). Also in the UK, Iggy’s song “The Passenger” was used to sell Toyotas and Fiats. Now his song "Punkrocker" is selling Cadillacs, too.

The The sold freakin’ M&M’s with “This Is The Day”, a song that has nothing to do with candy and everything to do with getting your shit together. Cell phones were sold by Goldfrapp's "Ooh La La" and the Psychedelic Furs classic "Pretty In Pink". New Order let “Blue Monday” be used in the UK to sell Mars bars and Sunkist, and recently must have been hard up for cash I guess, because in the span of the last couple weeks they had “Age of Consent” selling AT&T, and when I heard “Bizarre Love Triangle” selling Reese’s peanut butter cups I was almost apoplectic..

And, sadly, the classic “I Melt With You”, the only legitimate hit by Modern English, has been used everywhere, hawking everything from Burger King to the GMC Acadia and T-Mobile (as a cover version by a shitty French band), to Taco Bell Cheesy Beef Melts. The song has been sold as a cover version to dozens of people.

But perhaps the cheesiest and most soul-crushing use of a classic alternative-ish song from my younger days was when Kraft turned EMF’s club anthem “Unbelieveable” into the melting-cheese crapfest that became…get this…I shit you not…CRUMBELIEVABLE. Kill me now, please. I beseech thee.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mmmmmmm...oily discharge.......

Like a vast percentage of Americans, I’m a bit overweight. Not morbidly obese, but I’m a burly lad. And like most Americans I’m always intrigued whenever some new “miracle” diet pill surfaces, claiming to burn fat, boost the metabolism, stave off hunger, and give you energy to spare. The Holy Grail of Weight Loss.

Most of these drugs are 75% placebo effect and 25% caffeine, geared towards the typical lazy fatass American looking for instant gratification and success without effort, wanting to shed pounds without having to exercise or stop pouring lops of chocolate-covered lard down their gullets and can’t afford the more extreme costs of lipo, gastric bypass, and staples. Some of the drugs flat out scare me, like Xantrex-3. I took it once about 4 years ago for about 5 days, and it was a bad scene. I had the shakes like early-onset Parkinson’s and my heart rate rivaled that of a kitten on crack. Ain’t touched it since. Instead, I’ve been trying to be more active and sweat the pounds off. I’ve had a couple up & down moments but I’m about 50 pounds lighter than I was 2 years ago.

Anyways, there’s this new FDA-approved diet pill that supposedly blocks fat absorption, called Alli. It’s like 60 bucks a bottle, so it’s not exactly cheap. It reminds me of that crap called Olestra that was all in the news back in like 1998, some miracle cooking oil or some such that blocked fat from absorbing from the foods it was cooked in but also blocked vitamins & stuff from absorbing too. And without anywhere else for that fat to go, it gave you the shits.

Oddly enough, so does Alli. At least this drug tells you to eat better and exercise in addition to taking it, though. This is taken directly from the Alli webpage:
“What are treatment effects?
alli™ works by preventing the absorption of some of the fat you eat. The fat passes out of your body, so you may have bowel changes, known as treatment effects. You may get:
gas with oily spotting
loose stools
more frequent stools that may be hard to control
What to expect:
The excess fat that passes out of your body is not harmful. In fact, you may recognize it as something that looks like the oil on top of a pizza. Eating a low-fat diet lowers the chance of these bowel changes. Limit fat intake in your meals to an average of 15 grams”.

Great… if I lean down to tie my shoes and shit my pants, I can’t say I wasn’t warned. Again, as I have said numerous times before, the side effects of the wondrous concoctions are often worse than the conditions they treat. Explosive diarrhea and oily sharts are NOT cool.

Instead, do what I just started doing: cut back on the sodas and drink a gallon of water a day. That sounds like a lot, but if you’re actually sweating from exertion, four 1-quart bottles of ice-cold water go down rather nicely. The other day at work, it was 95° in Charleston with MUCH humidity, so that it felt about 103°. At my workstation in the dairy, it was about 110-120 wet sticky degrees, so I bust my ass and sweat a lot. That water is a necessity, to hydrate my system as well as flushing out toxins and various evils. Sodas full of sugar, HFCS, and sodium just cause you to retain water weight, stay fat, and stay thirsty.

When you burn more calories than you take in, the weight comes off. Being a sedentary slug drinking Starbucks and Mountain Dews all day hoping that fifty bucks worth of caffeinated laxatives will magically shrink your fat ass ain’t gonna cut it. I know from experience; I’m fighting the war too.

And next time you see a commercial showing all the supposed success stories of thong-wearing hottie grandmothers with silicone jugs and uber-buff dudes with 24-pack abs who used to look like Homer Simpson just last month, read the fine print. When they tell you they lost 350 pounds in 5 weeks, I guarantee the tiny words say RESULTS NOT TYPICAL. Every damned commercial now carries that disclaimer as a CYA move. Jenny Caig, NutriSystem, TrimSpa, Xantrex3, et al. All of ‘em do it. Joe Schmuck lucked out when he lost 75 pounds in 26 weeks (that’s 6 months, kids) but the average moke lost 20, maybe. Hell, with proper diet & exercise, 25 in six months isn’t all that big a stretch, without the pills.

Get off your cottage-cheeze asses, America. I can’t have my readers dying of strokes and coronaries before I get famous.

Trust me, Comrades....

“Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall…”

With those words, President Ronald Reagan inadvertently broke it off in America’s ass. At least with the Soviet Union as the Bad Guys, we knew what we were getting. Now? Everyone is enamored of the notion that the Russians are Good Guys and our bestest buddies.

Back in 1989, what with all the perestroika and glasnost and general thawing of the Cold War, came the end of communism as The Holy Terror of the 20th Century. This was a Good Thing. Down came the Berlin Wall and Germany reunified. This was a Good Thing that I witnessed first hand at its earliest stages. The Warsaw Pact broke apart and Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania were again free to decide their own fates. The good people of Czechoslovakia parted ways amicably and became Slovakia & the Czech Republic. Sadly, the Yugoslavians broke up into a big nasty mess of Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, and a dozen other microrepublics all hating each other. But communism had failed and we all danced a merry jig.

However, we now had all these fledgling democracies teetering on shaky ground, rife with black markets, graft, corruption, and organized crime. This is was a Worrisome Thing. And then we had all these shady fuckers running around selling shoplifted Soviet weapons, from AK’s to tanks, MiG’s to manpack nukes. This was a Bad Thing.

But yet we still danced a merry jig, because at least they weren’t Communists.
They may have been unstable and dangerous, but they were unstable and dangerous “democracies”. The Czechs elected a novelist as their President, and the Poles, to no one’s surprise, elected everyone’s favorite shipyard electrician and union leader as president. Romania and Bulgaria had teething problems in starting their republics, too.

I’m still not 100% ready to trust the Russian government. It’s hard to trust people who grew up not liking us and in many cases still don’t like us, who have many many nuclear weapons to point at us, and many more that they claim to have destroyed but damned well didn’t. It’s a big country with lotsa places to hide little bombs.It's still sometimes hard to trust people I once trained to go to war against.

The current ranks of political apparatchiks and nomenklatura in Russia grew up knowing nothing but communism until the early 90’s, and you didn’t get to any decent managerial positions by thinking the Amerikanskis were comrades. (C’mon, despite changing governments you can’t expect to just replace EVERYONE who ran the administrations; that’s a lotta people to instantly replace with people who know how to run infrastructure). So you have all these hard-line, dyed-in-the-wool Reds who are about to be very unemployed and start humming Yankee Doodlevitch. It was under the Soviet systems that these guys developed their power bases. You can call it “democracy” all you want but I assure you that deep down the place (and military) is still being run at least somewhat like the Politburo did before Smilin’ Mike Gorbachev tore down that wall.

The Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti (KGB, Committee for State Security) became the Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti (FSB, Federal Security Service). Just because you change names doesn’t mean you changed missions, and why hire an ass of new people when you have perfectly well-trained employees already in-house? Though the FSB handles demoestic stuff like our FBI and the FIS (Foreign Intelligence Service, or formerly the KGB’s First Chief Directorate) is like our CIA and does the spying on us. The KGB gave us former Soviet leaders Yuri Andropov and Mikhail Gorbachev, and now current Russian president Vladimir Putin. (Former heads of the KGB have run Moscow since November 12, 1982.)

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Putin smile, except for that rther awkward incident where he kissed that little boy on the abdomen. He just kinda looks at you with cold dead eyes as if contemplating where to dump your body. The dude scares me.

He makes backdoor deals with people who don’t like us, such as Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He still owns as ass of nukes. He’s said that if we put up a misile defense shield in Europe to defend our NATO allies against missile attacks from the Midle East, he’ll see that as aggression and start pointing nukes at us again. What a dick. And he says it lke they ever stopped ointing nukes at us in the first place. Please. Believe THAT and I’ll sell you some of Colonel Khadaffi’s Jheri Curl juice.

Good old Vlad comes over to visit last month to schmooze and make nice with noted genius Gee-Dubya Bush at Dad’s house in Maine, to eat lobstah, go fishing, and presumably work out some issues. More like “I’ll fly over, eat his food, drink his Scotch, chill on the ocean, feed him a line of govno and then go back to waiting for his term to end so I can kick the next poor bastard in the balls”.

His advance party of FSB/FIS agents were caught by a watchful clerk at the state liquor store in Portsmouth, NH trying to pass a phony $100.00 bill for two bottles of Scotch. Liquor store manager Mike Smith said the cashier used a special pen to mark the bill to test its authenticity. "It turned a color that it's not supposed to, and when he saw that, he grabbed the bill back and left," said Smith.

Portsmouth police received a call from the liquor store that the man and his friends were on foot, headed to the nearby Holiday Inn. (I’m intimately familiar with both locations. It’s a 2-minute stroll.) Police responded to the scene; a dispatch message on the police scanner said diplomatic immunity might be involved. But police said that diplomatic immunity was not invoked because police did not make any arrests. The media hushed it up pretty quickly.

So we have the Russian intelligence apparatus passing phony American bills all over the place (don’t feed me any bullshit that they were given a fake Benjamin at the Piscataqua Savings Bank on Pleasant Street. They make these bills to finance their operations overseas at our expense) and we have another former KGB head pointing nukes at us and making buddy-buddy with assclowns who hate us. But the American Sheeple think he’s our friend.

Not cool.

Have a Coke & a smile & STFU

You know you’re bored when it’s 3:45 AM and you’re watching that fuck-awful Hey Paula on Bravo. As if Paula Abdul wasn’t annoying enough on American Idol, some imbecile gave her a reality show. No, scratch that. They gave her a cryality show.

All she does is rant, cry, throw tantrums, and suffer meltdowns. One second she’s lucid, and then the slightest hint of adversity causes her to suffer a complete loss of composure and induces another crying jag. If you thought she had the potential to be a basket case before, this show seals the deal.

Her “staff” of flunkies need therapy as badly as she does; hell, I needed therapy after watching 15 minutes of this crap. How they can work for her and not swill tumblers of warm vodka is beyond me. I actually saw some of her lackey laughing at her behind her back as she suffered the 7th or 8th meltdown of the episode.

It’s further proof that the American Sheeple will watch anything. I’m waiting for a show devoted to watching blowflies eat fresh dogshit on Turd TV. After 30 minutes of her whimpering I wanted to punch her in the throat and was begging to watch the blowflies.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Secrets of Harry Potter VII Revealed!!!!!!

Through many means various, nefarious, hilarious, spurious, and somewhat dubious, I was able to trade nuggets of raw yellow cake uranium (which I’d gotten in trade for several dozen bricks of uncut black-tar heroin) to a shifty, lisping French Communist named Poussaint for several bootleg copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

So…here be spoilers!!!!!

Turns out McGonagall and Filch murdered Dumbeldore and blamed it on Voldemort to keep the news quiet that Dumbeldore was about to be arrested as the leader of a child-porn ring. Scotland Yard, working in conjunction with inquisitors from Azkaban intercepted naked pictures of Draco Malfoy being sent by owl to a Catholic priest in Boston who is the clandestine president of NAMBLA.

Hagrid gives up magic, and shacks up with Sir Elton John.

Ron finally shags Hermoine after they get piss-drunk on absinthe stolen from Snape’s potions. They film it and upload in on YouTube, calling it “Hogwart’s Pie”. The best line in the clip was “This one time, at Magic Camp, I stuck a Nimbus 2000 up me bum…”

Neville Longbottom joins the Army and is assigned as Prince Harry’s bodyguard in Afghanistan, trading one Harry for another. He uses his magic to find and capture Osama Bin Laden, and after receiving a knighthood from the Queen, Neville is up to his eyelids in hot women.

Sirius Black finds his lost twin brother XM Black, and together they form a satellite-based magic school with Professor Howard Stern.

The Sorting Hat at Hogwarts is revealed to be Don Rickles.

And then there’s Harry… Harry Potter defeats Voldemort, graduates Hogwarts as valedictorian, and receives a full scholarship to Oxford where he intends to study art history. He gets engaged to Cho Chung after knocking her up, and is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for ridding the world of Evil. While attending a seminar in Paris, Potter is killed by a suicide bomber who mistakenly ran into the wrong banquet hall, thinking it was the Michael Moore/Al Gore Global Warming lunch next door. Single mom Cho Chung becomes depressed and develops a nasty meth habit, making ends meet by being a contestant on Flavor of Love 8 on VH-1. Young Baby Potter is taken away by Social Services and eventually is adopted by a couple in rural eastern Kentucky who name him Cletus and use his magic to cheat on their taxes and make moonshine.

Now go buy the book and read it, you loser....stop looking for cheats on the internet.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The post-Erasure concert report

I know it’s a week late but it was a busy week….

Well, I survived my weekend trip to Orlando to see Erasure and catch up with my friend John. I’ve known John for nearly 24 years now, and while we don’t get to see each other very often, when we do get together, we pick right back up where we left off just like we saw each other yesterday. The added fun of the trip was that it wasn’t just me & Crys making the trip, but my buddy Chris and his girlfriend Victoria made the trip with us, and it was a blast all the way around. I’ve also known Chris for almost 24 years, and to see the show with my oldest friends in the world made it even better.

The show was at the Hard Rock CafĂ© at Universal Studios. Knowing full well that the crowds would get THICK around showtime from our experience of seeing them at the House of Blues in Orlando in 2005, we got there hella early. Plus, it was a standing-room-only type general admission, and first-come, first-serve. We were eating dinner before 5PM and the show started at 8PM, so yeah, we weren’t gonna take any chances on getting a shitty view of the stage. Dinner was at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, about as touristy as you can get in a place that was packed ass to elbow with tourists. By no means am I a fan of Buffet’s music (especially played at a volume level that was louder than the concert was later on) but damn that was some realllly good food. That was the first $10.00 burger I’d ever eaten that was actually worth the tenner. I sorta felt a bit raped at having spent $4.75 on a bottle of mediocre American pilsner (Landshark is the name. Think Corona without the pissy aftertaste) but hey, you can’t always find a Sam Adams everywhere.

We got to the Hard Rock at perhaps 6:00, and there was already a tiny knot of people milling about; the Die Hards. These are my kind of people. These are the people who have listened for 15-20 years, know all the words, really get into the show, and are generally super-friendly. I inserted myself into a discussion on favorite albums while we waited, and as a few more people started to show, we met two couples who would end up being our new best friends. Melissa and Melia live in the Fort Meyers area, and Tony and Bailey live right outside Orlando. After 45 minutes I felt like I’d known all four for years. This meant that everyone around me at the show was guaranteed to be cool people, and that it was gonna be a great show.

Doors opened at 7:00 and after the obligatory near-strip-search at the door by the Venue Gestapo, we hustled our asses to the stage, where we planted ourselves firmly at FRONT ROW CENTER. Hot holy shit. This was a dream come true for Crys, and I was obviously stoked too. We were literally 5 feet from Andy Bell.

The opening act was a band I’d never heard of but who made a great impression on me. Scissors For Lefty are a San Francisco band of two sets of brothers who have a bright future ahead of them. It’s dancy rock that reminded me of The Killers with just a hint of The Clash thrown in. It’s been a long time since I’d seen a band who looked like they were having that much fun playing a show, especially guitarist Robby Garza, who had a grin on his face the entire set. Bassist Steve Garza swung his bass around like a modern-day Mick Jones. Vocalist Bryan Garza hopped down in front of us during one song & kissed Crys’ hand. The entire band, including Peter Krimmel (synths/guitars) and James Krimmel (drums) hung out after the show for pictures and autographs. Completely class act, these fellas. Do yourself a favor and check them out.

Gawd, what can I say about Erasure’s set? It was incredible. The sound was great. Skeptics and critics would say that since 90% of the instrumentation is pre-programmed by synth-meister Vince Clarke that of course the sound is great, but it’s Andy who makes the show. His vocals are completely spot-on and sounds almost exactly like the studio albums. The setlist was a genius blend of new material from the album “Light at the End of the World”, and classic Erasure hits from the span of their 22-year career. Early in the show, Andy reached down and touched Bailey’s hand, and I thought he was gonna faint from the excitement. A few songs later, Bailey and Melissa fought briefly over Andy’s sweat-towel until Andy tossed a second one down to them. I kinda wanted one too…..but Andy did smile at us several times and waved at us all through the show.

The only downer at all in the concert was the girl next to John. Somehow she didn’t quite get the fact that the show is pre-sequenced and the setlist can’t be changed midway through to accommodate a screamed request. This is why she kept screaming “DARLEEEEEEEEEEEENE!!!! I’M DARLENE!!!!” after every song, letting us all know that her name was Darlene and that she wanted Andy to sing the song of the same name from the new album. After the fourth song, I wanted John to punch her in the throat. By song 7 I was about to do it myself. By song ten, Andy was looking down at her like he wanted to smash her in the face with the mike-stand. By song 12, she had incurred the wrath of he entire front row, straight & gay alike all united in wanting to stuff a sweat-towel in her yap. The funniest part of the show was at the very end when during an impromptu acapella chorus by the crowd to the final encore song “Stop!” Andy missed his cue when the music started again. He laughed, Vince laughed, the backing singers laughed, and we all thought it was priceless.

About ¾ of the way through the show, I looked to my left and right, and realized just how good I felt. I was surrounded by the people I’m closest to in the world, and some really great new friends, and listening to some of my favorite music, with a completely unobstructed view of the band a few feet away. Everyone around me was having such a good time. It was one of those snapshot moments that you want to hold onto forever.

Orlando Setlist:
Sunday Girl
Blue Savannah
I Could Fall In Love With You
Fly Away
Storm In a Teacup
Chains of Love
Breath of Life
Love to Hate You
Sucker for Love
-----------------intermission and outfit changes-------------------------
A Little Respect
When a Lover Leaves You
Oh L'Amour
Golden Heart
Ship Of Fools
How My Eyes Adore You
Glass Angel

Army Wives

One of my latest guilty pleasures is watching the TV show “Army Wives” on Lifetime. Yeah, yeah, I know; watching Lifetime is just cause for taking away my Man Credentials, but the show doesn’t really suck. It’s an engaging show.

Granted, it’s a pretty idealistic and not completely realistic portrayal of military spouses or even military life on the whole, but at least it tries. It’s generating interest in the situations and difficult hardships endured by military families, especially during wartime. The bulk of American society has no idea what military families go through, and to have a show that portrays them in a positive light is a good thing. It’s produced by the guy who brought us Gray’s Anatomy, so it’s got credibility.

It’s the story of a group of Army spouses who through various circumstances band together for mutual support and friendship at the fictional Fort Marshall, which is supposed to be located in Charleston, SC. The show is filmed all around Charleston, so every episode features locations that I recognize. The bar where character Roxy works is actually Big Deck Daddy’s, a biker bar on Rivers Avenue that has a huge front deck.. Most of the on-base locations are either filmed on the old closed Navy base or on Charleston Air Force Base. Be damned if the Sherwood’s house doesn’t look like my folks’ old place in Hunley Park military housing across from the Air Force base. The Army recruiting station in last week’s episode is actually an old storefront on East Montague near the Madra Rua Irish Pub.

The show, airing Sunday nights at 10PM on Lifetime, has been a huge success so far and has been picked up already for a second season. The downer is that they may stop filming here due to a squabble with the state government over wage incentives to hire locals. I hope they continue to film here; it makes it all the more fun to recognize locales and such when I’m not poking fun at the ill-fitting berets of the troops, but that’s to be expected from an old Army guy like myself.

Heretical Blasphemy

Once upon a time someone put pen to paper so to speak, and wrote a series of stories that was eventually published into a hugely popular book. The key figure in the story is a boy born and raised under unusual circumstances. His coming was foretold, and was highly anticipated by people who believed in him. He was destined for greatness and a difficult struggle to lead people against Evil. The boy was a learned scholar who had a devout following, and was able to perform great feats of magic and miracle. The boy was often troubled and misunderstood but grew into a wise and respected young adult with worshipful admirers.

The story of the young man with a greater destiny became one of the most popular tales in history and has been told the world over in dozens of languages. Movies have been made about the story. Depending upon the social customs and beliefs of various peoples, children have been both encouraged and dissuaded from reading the story of this boy. Many valuable lessons can be learned from the story, such as tolerance of others, kindness, love, sacrifice, gaining of wisdom, serving a higher calling, and the struggle of Good vs. Evil.

By now, you must be wondering who this controversial center character is. Who is this boy who rose from austerity to prominence? Many of you would say I’m referring to the story of Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible. And just as many would say I’m talking about Harry Potter. Both of you would be right, actually. It’s pretty easy to argue for either one to be the one of whom I speak. So, if there are so many similarities between the two central figures, why do so many people view the Potter books as some sort of evil entity full of devilry and witchcraft?

It’s harmless escapism, a delightfully fantastical yarn that not only entertains but also teaches its readers to be better people. Sorta like the Bible, but with a few more special effects. So, to be fair, if religious wingnuts in the state of Georgia want the Potter books banned from public school libraries because of potentially harmful material to kids, mayhaps the New Testament should be banned as well? After all, the main characters are pretty similar….The adventures of boy wizard Harry Potter can stay in Gwinnett County school libraries, despite a mother’s objections, a judge ruled.

Laura Mallory, who argued the popular fiction series is an attempt to indoctrinate children in witchcraft, said she still wants the best-selling books removed and may take her case to federal court.

“I maybe need a whole new case from the ground up,” Mallory said. The woman, who said two of her four children attend public schools in the county, was not represented by an attorney at the hearing. The old maxim states that a person who is their own lawyer has a fool for a client, no?

The ruling by Superior Judge Ronnie Batchelor upheld a decision by the Georgia Board of Education, which had supported local school officials. County school board members have said the books are good tools to encourage children to read and to spark creativity and imagination.

At the hearing, Mallory argued in part that witchcraft is a religion practiced by some people and, therefore, the books should be banned because reading them in school violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

“I have a dream that God will be welcomed back in our schools again,” Mallory said. “I think we need him.”

But that plan has a flaw, lady. You clamor for separation of church and state in one breath and then want to bring God into the schools? That’s the problem with you religious fruitcake fanatics, whether you be Christian, Muslim, or even those who worship sticks of butter; you want to shove YOUR beliefs down everyone’s throats while crushing any viewpoint that conflicts with your personal beliefs. Listen up, all you zealots and kooks: It’s a book, a work of fiction. Get over yourselves. I’ve heard some folks say the same thing about that little book that YOU hold so dear.

“The highest result of education is tolerance."
Helen Keller, (1880-1968)

"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Jesus (from the Bible, Matthew 22:39)

"I do not serve what you worship; nor do you serve what I worship. You have your own religion and I have mine."
The Koran

I want my eMpTyVee

I’m beating a dead horse here, I’m sure, but what happened to “Music Television”? Part of me wonders why artists even bother to make videos for their singles anymore( unless it’s to sell on DVD compilations) when the chances of the clip seeing serious airplay rotation are about the same as seeing Rosie O’Donnell in a thong doing a believable love scene with George Clooney.

As a teenager, I thought that music videos were a brilliant concept. In early 1984, in my freshman year, there were after-school video shows, and on the USA Network there were shows like Friday Night Videos and the Saturday night Nightflight all-video show. These were in addition to the fledgling MTV, which was barely 3 years old at the time and still played vids all day & night. For a not-quite-15 year old music fanatic like me, this was simply the coolest shit, indeed.

There was even an MTV for “old” people over 30 starting in 1985 called VH-1, also playing videos 24/7.

Life was good. Then something went HORRIBLY wrong.

Sometime in 1987 or so, MTV’s focus shifted, and Music Television started to become Miscellaneous Television by abandoning the all-video format and doing “shows”. Granted, not all of it was bad. Liquid Television gave exposure to avant-garde animators like Peter Chung, and for better or worse the American public was gifted with Beavis & Butthead and Ren & Stimpy. Then the 90’s saw the MTV Unplugged phenomenon, which was pretty cool for awhile. But for every novel concept there was a plethora of complete and utter GOBSHITE. Such drivel and dreck as Remote Control, The Grind, Made, Jackass, Road Rules, Next, Date My Mom, My Super Sweet Sixteen, and the worst offender of all, The Real World, which spawned the genre of reality TV. Bastards...

Even once-clever ideas like Cribs or Pimp My Ride have become trite, jaded mockeries of their original selves. Cribs was a chance to look inside the homes of celebrities and see how they lived. Now they struggle to find people to showcase, so now you get to see the third-string quarterback for the Houston Texans show off the obligatory fridge full of Cristal champagne and stating that the bedroom is “where awl da' magic happens” before showing off a bloated garage full of SUV’s and sports cars and a giant-screen TV home theater.

Pimp My Ride has gone from a really novel customization of broken-down cars for needy young adults to seeing just how much ridiculous and goofy-assed shit you can bolt onto a 400 dollar hooptie just for the sake of doing it.

VH-1 is no better. They play more videos than MTV by far, but after the obligatory 3-4 ours of music in the early morning, their litany of lame-assed shows starts up. Only they have fewer to choose from and thus repeat them ad nauseum, flogging the entire stable of dead horses in marathons of Celebrity Fat Camp, Surreal Life, the train wreckages of the Flavor of Love shows, Hoboken’s Next Top Model, and the I Love the 70/80/90’s shows. The “I Love…” shows are cute nostalgia the first time; after 25 viewings, not so much.

In 1996 MTV tried to get back to its music roots by launching M2 (later called MTV2), intended to show videos again, with a more eclectic and alternative mix, and now it’s all rap and rap-related shows when not playing repeats of other MTV shows. VH-1 finally launched VH-1 Classic to pander to old farts who remember videos, playing clips from the 70’s and 80’s, new clips from older artists, and occasionally dusting off the old alternative vids left in the vault from MTV’s “120 Minutes”, circa 1987.

There’s other choices out there if you dig around a bit. Fuse TV is a pseudo-music channel catering to the 17-year old text-messaging Emo crowd, but they’re a pale shadow of what they could be. I don’t get Much Music on my provider, so I miss out on Canada’s answer to MTV. Instead, I now watch a lot of IMF, the International Music Feed, which plays vids and interviews 24/7 from all over the world and from a lot of different genres. In the space of a typical hour you can see bands from Ireland, Italy, Ukraine, Finland, England, Germany, Japan, and Brazil, all singing in their native languages. I’ve been exposed to some cool stuff that I’d never see elsewhere, even if I don’t always understand the lyrics. But, good music and good songs are good no matter what the language.

So, if you’re like me and you miss the good old days of real videos and not some rehashed gobbledygook bullshit, take heart. It’s still out there but you gotta dig deeper to find the nuggets of gold. Or, do what the real die-hards do: search out stuff on You Tube. Crap quality streaming of an old Smiths video beats watching Hulk Hogan raise his kids any day.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Please tell me why I should give 2/3 of a rusty fuck about anything and anyone even remotely associated with MTV’s waste of airtime My Super Sweet Sixteen? A bunch of hideously spoiled, pampered, and over-privileged snotty bitches about to turn 16 get some sort of giant dream party thrown for them by rich dickhead parents (read: ENABLERS) and get showered with lavish gifts and tons of ass-kissing by bootlick lackeys who want to get invited to the supposed “party of the century”.

Most of us, if we got anything special at all, got pretty much the same thing on our 16th birthday: maybe a couple outfits, a CD (or a cassette if you’re old like me), maybe a twenty from Grandma, and a cake. These little bitches are getting all whored up in Versace evening gowns to have their black-tie galas at the swankiest hotel ballrooms, Mummy books some flavor-of-the-day rap star to play 3 songs, and they snivel and cry because Daddy didn’t buy the right color Lexus convertible.

These are the kind of prissy little twats who grow up to be the difficult, unpleasant, bitchy, selfish head-cases on Bridezillas, another show that makes me wanna reach for a large-caliber handgun. I’ve been married twice, been part of about 6 more weddings, and attended a good 30 or 40 more weddings in my lifetime. From experience, I know that there’s a slight modicum of stress involved in putting a wedding together and hoping everything comes together perfectly. However, the control-freak lunatics on this show are enough to turn any sane person off to weddings in particular and marriage as a whole.

One bride banned her own mother from the wedding because she didn’t like her outfit. Another considered becoming bulimic to fit into her dress. Another superficial cow ordered her young daughter not to smile in the wedding pictures because she was missing a couple front teeth, this after throwing a huge tantrum at the wedding rehearsal and got herself kicked out………of her own rehearsal. WTF?

One day soon, I’m gonna see some poor bastard groom being devoured by his grinning maniacal spouse, mantis-style. That, or some guy is gonna take one insult too many & mace her ass with pepper-spray. That I’d pay to see.

The Post-July 4th Update

Sure enough, kids, verily I predicted the July 4th tragedies that I read about in the news after the holiday week. I hate to say I told you so, but hey, I did. And I hate to make light of other people’s misfortunes, but this shit is simply inexcusable.

In Lubbock Texas, a 2-year old girl died from burns over 50% of her body after she poured gasoline on herself and was set ablaze by an ember from a sibling’s sparkler. Officials ruled the death an accident, but where the fuck were the ostensibly responsible adults who should have been supervising the kids and keeping toddlers from dousing themselves in gasoline? That’s not an accident; it’s tragic negligence.

In Portland, Oregon another toddler was hospitalized after she was burned by errant fireworks late. The 2-year-old girl's face, abdomen and legs were burned after fireworks struck her and ignited her pajamas. She was playing in her yard in the suburb of Medford at about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday when the fireworks struck her. Fireworks are illegal in Medford, by the way.

And in the Detroit suburb of Melvindale, Michigan, a powerful firework exploded in the face of a woman trying to set it off, killing her as her fiance and 8-year-old son watched. Danialle Barse, 27, was unfamiliar with the commercial-grade aerial firework she was using Monday night, said police.

Barse and another woman were trying to set off a 3-inch mortar bomb in the parking lot of the car wash where Barse worked when it went off as she had her head over it. One round hit her, while the other 25 mortars continued to explode in sequence, keeping rescuers at bay. No one at the car wash had permission for a fireworks display. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was investigating where the commercial-grade fireworks came from.

Three inches is approxmatey 76 millimeters. The grenade launcher I had mounted under my M-16 in the Army was 40 millimeters in caliber. Light mortars carried by Army airborne and Marine Corps infantry units are 60 millimeters. The main gun on most World War Two tanks was 75 millimeters. What in the hell are average Joe Blow citizens doing with a 76 millimeter, 25-round launcher in the suburbs? Getting killed, that’s what.