The Friends of California Libre...

15 November 2007

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Screed

Greetings, friends,
First, thanks to everyone who's purchased my small tome Scream at the Librarian, which is now number 25 on this "bestseller list" in New York!  Woo:

You can sample some of the kudos I've gotten from librarians and others about halfway down the website for Scream at the Librarian.  If you are interested in buying one, PS, I have 20 copies on the way, so save yourself the cost of shipping and meet me TONIGHT! at the opening of Lucy Dodd's new store in Echo Park (Thursday), 1282 Sunset.

Do it now, because I might not be writing for much longer...
Writers Begin Strike as Talks Break Off
By Michael Cieply
The New York Times

Joke...there's a reason I never got into the Industry.  I hope this "novelist" in the hip Mexico City district of Coyoacan, who killed and ate his last three girlfriends, will also go on strike (thanks Robert):
Chilango epicurianism
Presumen canibalismo del homicida - El Universal - DF

Thanks to the writers' strike here in Los Angeles, be prepared for lots of idiotic reality television.  I avoid television generally, but I see enough to know how bad this stuff is.  It wavers between completely banal and possibly evil.  Perhaps the most evil is Cheaters, hosted by the sleazy, unblinking Joey Greco.  Joey likes to provoke both the cheaters and the cheated, egging them on as he chases people through hotel corridors and across parking lots, cameras and flacks in tow.  It is a truly sick thing to witness.

There is also a Spanish version here in LA, known as Secretos.  I'm not as down on this version because, rather than chase down actual people, this show relies on over-the-top reenactments, and instead of sleazy Joey, sports a cast of sexy, black-clad supersleuthes...I witnessed one episode a few days ago where a cheating spouse was caught between two hookers, sitting behind a huge "Scarface"-sized pile of coke.  As a non-striking writer, I appreciate the satiric possibilities of this show.  Not so the one immediately following it, Alarma TV.  Those familiar with Alarma, a Mexican tabloid, will anticipate the kind of "Faces of Death" carnage available on this amazing compilation of destruction.  They show it all...when they report on Iraq, you see the burnt, mangled bodies; I was aghast when they reported on a suicide bombing in Pakistan by showing some cops pulling pieces of meat out a tree.  Yeeccchhh!  My gentle Western sensibilities again blasted by these crazy Indians!

Well, it ain't called "Alarma" por nada.  It was here that I first learned of the Katrina-like flooding disaster in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco:
Mexicans Appalled by Scenes From Flooded State
By Elisabeth Malkin
The New York Times

It was also on Mexican tabloid TV that I saw the whole encounter in Chile when, after calling the former Prime Minister of Spain a Fascist, King Juan Carlos told chatty Hugo Chavez to shut up:
Chavez jokes to reporter: "Shut up!"

Hey, I'm with Chavez on this one...Aznar might not be a Fascist, but he plays one well...and if anyone with pretensions to royalty ever told me to shut up, I wouldn't laugh as Chavez did.  I'd make that beheading motion of my hand across my neck.  Juan Carlos is getting ripe in his old age.

Speaking of Spain, what's up with this stunt...and didn't David Blaine do this already?
Spanish musician tries life in a glass bubble

Maybe they got the idea from these wacky South Americans:
Drug traffickers dive in
Submersibles are used to ferry narcotics. Some in U.S. fear the tactic may inspire terrorists.
By Chris Kraul
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
CALI, COLOMBIA - It was on a routine patrol that the Colombian coast guard stumbled upon an eerie outpost amid the mangroves: a mini-shipyard where suspected drug traffickers were building submarines.
The complete article can be viewed at:,1,4531573.story?coll=la-headlines-frontpage

On a completely different subject, I've come across this cute article about Zurich, where I had such a good time a few years ago:
Trendy Zurich
Please click on the link to see the corresponding content:

But as I noted a few weeks back with the SVP "black sheep" business, it is dangerous to trifle with the Swiss:
Swiss tell German guy to learn German

Only they can get away with goofing on Germans:
German flasher strips off in court

Anyway, as I usually do, I went to Hollywood Memorial Cemetery on 1 November to pay a visit to my relatives there.  This was an unusually giddy graveyard visit...the weather was great, the cemetery was mysteriously full of high school kids on some creepy field trip, and I was compelled to speak with the dead, and not just my own family.  My father's parents are perched at the top row of the top floor of the "new" mausoleum in the Jewish section; his paternal grandparents in the older mausoleum, across from gangster Bugsy Siegel.

After giving the four of them a how-de-do and an update on my plans in life (though not death), I strolled over to visit some of my other friends, perhaps for the last time?  I always say hello to Peter Lorre and his wife, jammed in a tiny crypt at floor level, and the "too beautiful" Barbara la Marr, the first native Californian to make it big in Hollywood, and to my knowledge, the only woman to EVER reach stardom after working as a writer first.  Then I wandered back across the graves, stepping around them and cracking wise..."how's death treating you?  Death keeping you busy?"

The history of Hollywood is played out in sections of the cemetery...the newest graves of Russian Jews and Armenians, glossy black with engraved photos; the old Hollywood Jews like my family up in the crypts, the stars of the silent era, the victims of scandal, the great civic leaders, the huge private mausoleums of the producers, their names long forgotten, and in the center of Hollywood Memorial, the rows of the WASP farmers who built the place up before the movies came.  I feel sorriest for them, their small plaques overgrown (although the cemetery is much better cared for than it was in the 1980s).  They, least of all the rest, would recognize Hollywood now.

The gaudy onyx tombs remind me, like I need reminders, why I dislike Russians:
Freezin' With the Fascists

By the way, one of you asked why my last screed was sent out at 11 PM on Halloween.  Perhaps you didn't know that Halloween is over as a holiday...or maybe that I got blown off by all my friends in LA?  And you wonder why I'm itching to move someplace (anyplace else, actually) where a person can go out on a holiday and enjoy a cocktail with strangers, should all else fall through.  That's no longer possible here...and why I've spent most of the last 18 months typing away in my apartment at night.

Hmm...I feel a SCREED coming on.  The other day I was just minding my own business, reading the news...I heard some good news...
North and South Korea Sign Historic Reconciliation Pact
By Burt Herman
The Associated Press

I heard some bad news...
Bacterial Infection Killed Almost 19,000 in 2005
By Kevin Sack
The New York Times

Then I read this:
Clinton Bucks Trend, Rakes in Cash From Weapons Industry
By Leonard Doyle
The Independent UK

Sorry, but my mind is pretty much made up about this woman.  This year might end up like 2000 for me...another Ralph Nader year.  I caught no end of shit for that but am completely unapologetic, and if the Democrats choose Hillary Clinton next year, I'll do it again.  I'll pull the lever for the Peace and Freedom Party or whoever, but I take voting seriously.  I'm a born and bred Californian and for fuck's sake, as the Irish say, we deserve better.

Our present idiot-in-chief is rapidly imploding:
White House Threatens to Veto Housing Bill
Bush Vetoes Water Bill, Citing Cost of $23 Billion
By David M. Herszenhorn
The New York Times
Republicans Join Vote to Override Water Bill Veto
By Carl Hulse
The New York Times
Congress Overrides Bush Veto of Water Projects Bill
By Christopher Doering

If he would just shut up, as "King" Juan Carlos might say...
Bush Says Interrogation Methods Aren't Torture
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg
The New York Times

Just let the flunkies do the bullshitting:
Intel Official: Expect Less Privacy
By Pamela Hess
The Associated Press

And bullshit it truly is:
Leak Severed a Link to Al-Qaeda's Secrets
By Joby Warrick
The Washington Post

You'd think the Democrats could take advantage of the implosion to advance their own pathetic agenda for our bully of a nation:
The 50-Year Strategy: A New Progressive Era (No, Really!)
By Simon Rosenberg and Peter Leyden
Mother Jones

Yah, right.  When the ocean is lapping at Central Park, and I'm beating down my neighbors for loaves of bread, we're going to do to each other what, not suprisingly, we probably did to our old rivals, the Neaderthals:

First genocide of human beings occurred 30,000 years ago

Can I change the subject slightly, and tell you how disappointed I am in some atheists also?  Some of you know that in California we have an "adopt-a-highway " program where different individuals or groups volunteer to clean two mile stretches, and in exchange they get a little sign that brags their altruism to the driving public.  The group Atheists United adopted the Glendale Freeway just north of the 134, and the last time I drove through there it looked like shit...cups and bottles and garbage everywhere.  Get on the ball, you heathens!  You are giving secular humanists a bad name!

Hey, it is not easy being an atheist in this god-forsaken country:

Stomp Out Atheists

Letter to the editor urges atheists to get out of America.

You are not even allowed to JOKE:

Griffin Riffin'

Comedienne Kathy Griffin's remarks at the Emmy Awards cause a brouhaha.

And god forbid you should seriously protest:

No Cents!

E-mail warns that a proposed redesign of the Lincoln Cent will omit the motto "In God We Trust."

Well, big whoop anyway, because according to some, MACHINES ARE GOING TO TAKE OVER THE EARTH (evil laughter in background) and enslave what's left of the human race.  If you have a few hours to "kill", point your computer to this depressing yet dry documentary; I especially like when one scientist points out that robots will not bother us, but their half-human half-machine (BIONIC!) cyborg masters might (thanks, Geri and Miles):
...rough cut to the feature film about AI, robots, the singularity, and the 21st century

It starts out small, heh heh...
First "robot" electric guitar tunes itself

The robots aren't even here yet, and we're in mortal peril:
Public Health: The Hidden Menace of Mobile Phones
By Geoffrey Lean
The Independent UK

The Japanese, naturally, are going to be the first to fall into the robots' trap:
Exploding piggy-bank aims to scare Japanese into saving

That is, if any of them are left alive (thanks again, Robert)
Debt-stricken dad caught running a different kind of suicide hotline - Mainichi Daily News

And by the way, the Japanese also are negating the "panty power" campaign against the Burmese military dictatorship I mentioned last SCREED:
As online panty recycle biz blooms, traditional trade hits the skids - Mainichi Daily News
Stuff this in your pipe!

Keep reading...these hot and bothered Japanese will really blow your mind:

Thousands gather for fertility festival

Hey, birds do it, bees do it, even Swedes at the public pools do it...
Swedish women shed bikini tops in pool campaign

Maybe the dense European bureaucracy can slow down this inevitable technological smackdown, or maybe they just made it easier for me to use LINUX on my next desktop:
Microsoft Concedes in European Antitrust Case
By Steve Lohr and Kevin J. O'Brien
The New York Times

All right, all's time for bed, so let me put in another plug for my ancestors with this:
Five Myths About Sick Old Europe
By Steven Hill
The Washington Post

Nah, I can guarantee you that George Bush, if he did anything, has made the US of A completely unbankable.  It will take us another fifty years to undo all the damage he let the Chinese and the Europeans do to our good dollar:
Dollar Slumps to Record on China's Plans to Diversify Reserves
Dollar Trades Near Record Low Against Euro as Writedowns Grow

Foreign investors flee US securities

By Michael Mackenzie in New York
Foreign investors slashed their holdings of US securities by a record amount as the credit squeeze intensified, according to the latest Treasury figures.  The Treasury International Capital report - known as the Tic - for August will be closely watched because it appears amid growing concerns about the weakness of the US dollar, which hit a record low recently against a basket of major currencies.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007
This article can be found at:,_i_email=y.html

Although now you can get that international job you wanted...without even updating your resume:
Weak dollar prompts record foreign buyouts of U.S. companies
By Robert Weisman
The Boston Globe
European, Asian and Canadian companies are taking advantage of the weaker dollar to buy their U.S. counterparts at a record pace, increasing investment in the United States but also raising fears about a potential loss of jobs and autonomy.  "We could be looking at the world's largest tag sale if we continue to see declines in the dollar," said Donald Klepper-Smith, chief economist at DataCore Partners.

I really like to see that some very deserving individuals are getting rich off our misery:
Oil Price Rise Causes Global Shift in Wealth
By Steven Mufson
The Washington Post

Better you get robbed by this clown, eh?
LA 'Robin Hood' claims he shared loot on Skid Row

Well, as I always say, money ain't everything:
Pssst ... ticket for Hannah Montana concert for 24,000 dollars?
The recommended page is: As An Upper-Class Gourmand, I Will Settle For Nothing Less Than The Luxury Of Ritz-Brand Snack Crackers

And finally, on the opposite note, you might be a redneck if...
Teacher loses fight to take gun to class
Best to use tools when loosening lug nut

Vive le screed!

No comments :

Facebook Blog Networks

Valid Atom 1.0!
To subscribe via e-mail, fill out the form at ; for RSS readers, use the feed link at FeedBurner , or this drop-down menu: