I’ve been re-reading MFK Fisher’s excellent How To Cook A Wolf. For those of you not familiar with this book, it is a series of essays about how to live and eat well when you have no money (and maybe no food); she wrote the essays during the Great Depression and then the food rationing of World War Two. Spoiler: she made it through the Depression, WWII, and lived a long, full life in Northern California. Part of what she tells us in this book is to not give up.
I mention this only as a reminder that we are living in a second Great Depression. This is a hard time for many of us, our democracy has failed us (and so richly rewarded the, well, rich), and we subsist on a small piece of an ever-shrinking pie, if we subsist at all.
Many of us have been told (usually by a perky 20-something contracted by the company to deliver the bad news and offer resume writing tips) that we will never work in corporate America again. Not that there is age discrimination (that’s when the perky 20-something produces reams of paper that shows the age range of the 5,000 other people let go that day. Message: don’t sue us, we’ll kill you with data.), and sometimes the perky 20-something offers you the chance of a lifetime, to stay with the company by moving to where your job went (usually a country ending in -stan) and accepting the local wages. Oh, and you get to pay for your move there (“and back,” says Perky, “if you change your mind.”).
Sometimes Perky tells you about creating your own Brand You, which at that moment sounds more like a fuck you. And then Perky concludes with a small confessional, “I’ll never have a full-time job. Doing these contract jobs is the best I will probably ever have.” You find yourself, strangely enough, trying to comfort Perky, whom you have come to realize is just as screwed as you are.
Our old pal, Jurassic Pork at the excellent Welcome Back to Pottersville is at the end of his considerably long rope and thinking about using it as a noose. If you have some extra money, I can think of few, kinder ways to use it than to send it to him. There is a PayPal button at his place.
Long-time friends of MPS our pals at The Lester and Charlie Review have a book for sale: Please Stand By: Lester and Charlie’s 50 Favorite TV Test Patterns. I didn’t even know that they were literate!
Here’s some sample reviews from satisfied Amazon customers:
If you remember test patterns, chances are you were staying up way past your bed time!
I saw an advance copy and some of the images brought back memories of childhood that I had tried to forget
Though the acid trip without the acid is probably best without company.
It sounds like a hit to me! And I’m proud to say that I’m offering this link to Amazon absolutely free! So order yours today! (Amazon)
(Full Disclaimer: Lester and Charlie asked me if I could give it a push, no money exchanged hands, I just like those guys tons and would love to see them succeed. I may even buy it myself if it is at my local bookstore.)
…the triumphant return of Ribbed For Your Pleasure, which as many of you know was the website for our Poet Laureate, Mountjoy. He explains his return to blogging thusly:
Mountjoy, down, not out.
Rediscovers his mojo:
After having gone dark for a few years, it is a pleasure to have RFYP back online. Please go say hello.
…at Batocchio’s place, The Vagabond Scholar.
Here’s a quote from Lance Manion, explaining the tradition:
Our late and much missed comrade in blogging, journalist and writer Al Weisel, revered and admired across the bandwidth as the “reasonable conservative” blogger Modest Jon Swift, was a champion of the lesser known and little known bloggers working tirelessly in the shadows…
One of his projects was a year-end Blogger Round Up. Al/Jon asked bloggers far and wide, famous and in- and not at all, to submit a link to their favorite post of the past twelve months and then he sorted, compiled, blurbed, hyperlinked and posted them on his popular blog. His round-ups presented readers with a huge banquet table of links to work many of has had missed the first time around and brought those bloggers traffic and, more important, new readers they wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed.
It may not have been the most heroic endeavor, but it was kind and generous and a lot of us owe our continued presence in the blogging biz to Al.
Batocchio works like a demon on this round-up, but I have to think that it must be a world of fun, too. Blogs large and small submit what they feel is their best work and he compiles a list. But if I know Batocchio, he is also reading each entry as it comes in. That must be a labor of love, reading all the excellent posts.
There’s a lot of good writing there, including some from the various and sundry Scissorheads. (Clue: there’s one from MPS, too!) You should mosdef check it out.
If by Demon, I mean that funny devil Jurassic Pork, who once again has the solid-gold snarkitude to present The Assclowns of the Week.
He’s in fundraising mode (all the cool kids are having fundraisers this week), so if you have some spare coin donating it to him would be “very,” as Heather Chandler once said.
Charlie Pierce has a write-up on the long and storied history of rat-fucking, which is quite literally where we are today.
There are two basic philosophical foundation stones to ratfucking. The first is that political sabotage for its own sake is a worthy enough goal. There doesn’t necessarily have to be an obvious purpose or obvious logic behind it. Everything is simply tactics. Those tactics either work or they don’t. To believe this, of course, one must first believe that all politics is a essentially a zero-sum game of power; you win and the other guy loses. Who rules? Period. One cannot for a moment contemplate the notion that politics — and therefore, government — has anything to do with the public good. I trust I don’t have to spell out the parallels between this elemental basis of ratfucking and what the Republicans are about in their current campaign of vandalism. This has now entered a time in which we are seeing sabotage for sabotage’s own sake. Remember, the conservative rump faction has brought this shutdown upon the country because its members refuse to agree to a federal budget that contains lower discretionary spending than even Paul Ryan contemplated. That’s because now — as Congressman Marlin Stutzman pointed out clearly yesterday — this isn’t about the budget, or even about economics, it’s about who wins and who loses. It’s about whether or not John Boehner, the castrato Speaker Of The House, can keep his job. The public, as was said during our previous Gilded Age, be damned.
There’s so much good writing in that quote, and the rest of the article carries on in that vein. I had been working on a long piece along those lines, but this is the Ur Text. Go read it.
Our good pal Jurassic Pork at the infamous Welcome Back To Pottersville has revived one of his best long-standing features, the Assclowns of the Week. And tonight’s triumphant return edition is a rip-snorting good time.
Go read it. That’s an order.
And if you have a spare coin or two (and I’d like to know who does these days), considering tossing it in the hat over there. We should encourage JP to keep up the good work and return the ACOTW to being a recurring feature. We need this sort of writing on the web.
…he has Risen:
[When we last left TBogg, somewhere on the internet far faraway, he was taking a powder/hanging up his spurs/blowing this podunk town/and taking off for parts unknown, just like Taylor (grim-faced, bronze-chested, packing heat) in Planet Of The Apes, saddling up to see “… what’s out there”. What did TBogg find? His destiny? A madhouse? 20-piece McNugget’s for only $4.99? Let’s see what happened, ‘kay?]
Well … that was certainly boring and unpleasant.
I swear by all that is Holy [by which we mean: Shakira’s ass] that I was going to walk away from this thing that happens on the internet, if not forever, at least until October-ish of next year when the elections rolled around. On the advice of the Lovely & Talented Casey I went ahead an registered a domain name (see above), which I had been kicking around for about seven years or so, in anticipation of maybe making a comeback just like Brett Favre. But without the dick pics because, I have standards. But then things happened…
Yup. Tbogg is back and writing at Raw Story.
Today on the Crooks and Liars’ Mike’s Blog Round-up, I linked to Man Boobz, who has a wonderful take down on a sexist, misogynist rant.
Anyway, one of his readers did a dramatic reading of the sexist, misogynist rant, and so without further a-do, here is (NSFW):
My Seed is Liquid Fucking Gold
I laughed until I cried.