Guest Blogger

Friday, 18 December 2009

This has been one crazy week. Abraham’s reg­u­lar babysit­ter has been in the hos­pi­tal for over a week now, and he’s been shut­tled all over the place (in­clud­ing a new tem­po­rary babysit­ter) un­til DeeDee is back home. I’ve been bak­ing in every spare mo­ment, and work has been hec­tic with last-min­ute high-pri­or­i­ty site build­ing. So. I’m gonna sit back and let Bram type the rest of this post.

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Guest Blog: A Not so Album Review

Friday, 19 March 2004

hi every­one. im phil, adams friend that is stuck in con­nersville. ill get out one of the­se days. i thought and thought about what to do in here to­day, but i could­nt get any­thing to­geth­er, so i just went through all my old note­books and picked out some­thing i wrote a long time ago (102701 to be ex­act). i dont claim to be good, but here it is any­way.

hi. its me. you know me but you dont know who i am. i have so much to say to you, but no words to say it. i try and try and try to say some­thing, but noth­ing comes out. i try to write it, but noth­ing comes out. some­days its be­cause of fear, some­days its be­cause ive got a low self opin­ion, man. can you hear me? im talk­ing to you. again, you cant hear me. im not talk­ing out loud. its all in my head again. my eyes cant help but stare, but you dont know that. my heart reach­es out, but its stopped short by a lack of words. some­day soon i hope my heart can reach out all the way. i want to make a con­nec­tion.

there you go. its not too long, so i did­nt waste too much of your time. i was go­ing to write a re­view of the al­bum by the pieces, but i nev­er got around to that and it was crunch time. may­be ill do that one of the­se days.

Guest Blog: Political Biography

Wednesday, 17 March 2004

The Ranting of a (for­mer) Kansan: or How I Became a Conservative Libertarian Communist.

Well Adam asked for some sort of so­cial-po­lit­i­cal post, so I?m go­ing to rant on my po­lit­i­cal back­ground, as a sort of foot in the door for fu­ture po­lit­i­cal rants in this space.

First let me say that I am so­cial­ly fair­ly con­ser­v­a­tive. This im­me­di­ate­ly seems to get me la­beled as a Republican. Which is some­thing I tend to hate, be­cause Republicans are way too ra­bid to­ward abor­tion and the death penal­ty for my taste. This is where my strong lib­er­tar­i­an streak comes in. I don?t be­lieve that the Government should in­sert it­self in­to our lives. Which is to say that while I be­lieve that abor­tion is wrong, I?m not go­ing to go out and bomb a clin­ic or make a big push to make it il­le­gal. I al­so am op­posed to gay mar­riage, but on­ly in the sense that mar­riage is a re­li­gious in­sti­tu­tion. I be­lieve that the gov­ern­ment can make a legal ?union? but not a mar­riage. So I think that if you are ho­mo­sex­u­al and you want to ?mar­ry? then you just need to be a part of a church that be­lieves in that sort of thing and you can get mar­ried and the gov­ern­ment should rec­og­nize the union in the same way that my mar­riage is rec­og­nized by the state of Kansas (and all oth­er states via the due faith and cred­it clause of the con­sti­tu­tion). It is eas­ier to say that I live a con­ser­v­a­tive lifestyle in gen­er­al and I do not preach my­self as su­pe­ri­or (but yet I preach thus the post), nor do I wish to im­part my be­liefs on any­one (out­side of my fam­i­ly of course). 

The Libertarian as­pect has al­ready been touched on in the above para­graph, but I?m go­ing to ex­pand on the­se be­liefs a bit as well. I be­lieve in free­dom and lib­er­ty as spelled out in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. I think that a large, cen­tral­ized gov­ern­ment is a bad thing. The Federal gov­ern­ment should de­volve much of it?s pow­er back to the states and the lo­cal gov­ern­ment. I feel that the peo­ple should be free to ex­press their ideas, prac­tice their be­liefs, and be in­volved with their com­mu­ni­ty. I be­lieve that gov­ern­men­tal con­trol of people?s lives is al­most al­ways a bad thing. 

The one part of the my po­lit­i­cal agen­da that runs con­trary to my oth­er be­liefs is the com­mu­nism part. By com­mu­nism, I am not talk­ing Stalin, Lenin, the Red Menace, and com­mie pinko bas­tards. When I say com­mu­nism, I?m mean­ing it in more of a true com­mune sort of way. The gap be­tween the tru­ly wealthy and the rest of the peo­ple has stretched be­yond be­lief. The poorest peo­ple in this coun­try can­not hope for a change in their sit­u­a­tion for sev­er­al gen­er­a­tions if they are lucky, they are beat down up­on by a very broad­ly de­fined mid­dle class. Middle class in this coun­try starts at be­ing ?fair­ly com­fort­able? (i.e. food on the ta­ble, roof over head) and runs all the way up to ?fair­ly wealthy?. This in­cludes peo­ple who say they are ?up­per mid­dle class?(Doctors, most lawyers and oth­er pro­fes­sion­als). The mid­dle class peo­ple can move a bit ei­ther up and down the lad­der, but it is much, much eas­ier for them to fall in­to the ?poor? range. To be tru­ly wealthy you must al­so wield a great deal of pow­er. I?m not just talk­ing about po­lit­i­cal pow­er like the Bush fam­i­ly, but al­so pow­er to con­trol the me­dia, and the pow­er to keep politi­cians in their pock­ets. The last 24 years have seen a schism in how the ?lib­er­al? de­moc­rats and ?con­ser­v­a­tive? re­pub­li­cans do busi­ness. The de­moc­rats (Clinton) did more to reign in na­tion­al debt and out of con­trol spend­ing, while the re­pub­li­cans (Reagan, Bushes) have been ir­re­spon­si­ble and in­creased spend­ing and cut tax­es on the rich. 

If Adam lets me come back to do an­oth­er ap­pear­ance, I will point out how, while 20 years lat­er than pre­dict­ed, many of the items in Orwell?s 1984 are closer than you think.

Guest Blog: Book Review

Tuesday, 16 March 2004

My Book Review

by Lauren Spisak

The book I read is called Spike Mike Reloaded: A Guided Tour Across a Decade of American Independent Cinema by John Pierson and Kevin Smith. It is a good book. It is long though. I think like 400 pages. Can you be­lieve it! In it they use big words that my mom has to ex­plain to me some­times, like “Cannes” and “in­de­pen­dent” and “en­ter­prise” and “usu­al­ly.” But I am learn­ing a lot about how peo­ple make movies. It is hard. Some peo­ple spend a lot of mon­ey on mak­ing a movie. Some peo­ple make movies about dumb things like the s-e-x word or about a guy named Roger. I have a friend named Roger. He is al­bi­no though. If I ever make a movie, it will be about ro­bots. In my book they al­so talk about black peo­ple and some­thing called “les­bians.” I have a friend who is black. Her name is Charlene. My mom said it is good to be nice to peo­ple of dif­fer­ent col­ors. She al­so said “les­bians” are not right and will end up in h-e-l-l. I am afraid of les­bians. They sound mean. Mommy will not tell me what they are, but I am afraid one will hide un­der my bed at night and then sneak out when I fall asleep and eat me and my Mom will cry and lots of peo­ple will come to my fu­ner­al and they will say, “Poor Lauren. The les­bian got her.” But the man who wrote my book says les­bians make good movies, so may­be they aren’t TOO bad af­ter all. Or may­be HE is a les­bian too! The book al­so has lots of things about mon­ey in it. I wish I had more mon­ey. I would buy lots of toys with it if I did – like a G.I. Joe doll or a Barbie (may­be one with grow­able hair!). Or I would make a movie about ro­bots. 300 la­dy ro­bots that take over the world! The main robot’s name would be Charlene and she would shoot fire­balls from her eyes. The fire­balls would not kill peo­ple though. It would just make them dance the ro­bot-dance. Robots are cool. I have three dol­lars saved up right now. I hide it from my broth­er Petey. He ate two quar­ters I saved one time. 

THE END

Dastardly Dan

Wednesday, 10 March 2004

Today Organic Mechanic mag­a­zine brings you the first in­stall­ment of the vil­lain­ous side of our Heroes and Villains of the New Millennium Series. Previous in­ter­views with Captain Spacepants and Sidekick Suck have now been linked to.

Organic Mechanic: Dastardly Dan, that is an in­ter­est­ing name. How did you come up with Dastardly Dan?

Dastardly Dan: Well, I was born Richard Klipslophski…er, well, the cat’s out of the bag now isn’t it? See? That is why I nev­er do the­se in­ter­views. I just end up say­ing things I shouldn’t, like my legal name. Now what? Great. So, any­ways, yeah, now that the cat’s out­ta the bag, I was born Richard Klip– Wait. Can you? Will you ed­it this part out for me? Not put it in the in­ter­view? I mean se­ri­ous­ly. The last thing I need is some­one know­ing my for­mal name. You know, I may be a crim­i­nal mas­ter­mind, but I, too, am fear­ful of iden­ti­ty theft. Plus, on top of that, I am still want­ed for some pet­ty theft I com­mit­ted when I was 18. So, could you ed­it…

OM: We could.

DD: But will you?

OM: I’ll check with my ed­i­tor.

DD: Ok, thanks. I’d ap­pre­ci­ate that. And you don’t know how much I would ap­pre­ci­ate that. It’d be a big help to me, re­al­ly. I just don’t want my name out there, you know. Once it’s out it’s like a whole big thing I don’t wan­na have to deal with, re­al­ly. Everyone will swarm on my fam­i­ly, and mom and pop don’t re­al­ly need that. It’s best that I just go by my new name Dastardly Dan. So. Can we start this in­ter­view again?

OM: Sure.

DD: Ok. And, thanks again. I re­al­ly ap­pre­ci­ate it.

OM: So, Dastardly Dan. That is an in­ter­est­ing name. Where’d you get it?

DD: Well, I was born Richard– Dammit. DAMMIT. See. Now I did it again. This isn’t… Ok, can we pick up from here? You’ll ed­it this out right?

OM: Sure.

DD: Ok. Well, I have gone by oth­er names. In my youth I was Pete the Wicked, but that sound­ed too pi­rate-like. Then I changed my name to Salvadore the Slippery-One, but the guys at the Villian Local 134 gave me hell about that one. When I start­ed steal­ing nu­clear waste from pow­er­plants in Supertropolis, I went my the name “Green Meanie,” but that didn’t catch on and I was lam­pooned in the pa­pers all the time. Then, go­ing through a fam­i­ly scrap­book, I found that my great un­cle was a cat­tle rustler dur­ing the McKinley ad­min­is­tra­tion, and he went by the name Dastardly Dan. I fig­ured I’d adopt it and bring the tra­di­tion back.

OM: But you don’t steal cat­tle.

DD: No. My plot is to take over the world, hav­ing all of its in­hab­i­tants turned to slaves, min­ing for salt­peter in an ef­fort to build a gun pow­er­ful enough to shoot a rock­et-sized bul­let at the moon, caus­ing the said satel­lite to ex­plode, send­ing mil­lions of frag­ments of the on­ce heav­en­ly body in­to or­bit around the earth, mak­ing the night sky on this plan­et the dark­est it has even been, and then rul­ing the world with pure evil.

OM: Sounds like quite a plan.

DD: It is.

OM: And how do you fi­nance all of this.

DD: I have a Mastercard.

OM: A Mastercard?

DD: Yes, see, it’s right here (Takes out card. It’s ac­count num­ber is 3445 – 4500-0000 – 6666.)

OM: I see.

DD: Yes. It’ help– Wait. You didn’t write down the ac­count num­ber did you?

OM: The ac­count num­ber?

DD: For the Mastercard?

OM: No.

DD: Ok. Well, you’d need the ex­pi­ra­tion date, too, 908. Wait, I shouldn’t have said that. Can you…?

OM: Edit? I’ll check with the ed­i­tor.

DD: And you DIDN’T write down the ac­count num­ber, right? I thought I saw you writ­ing some­thing…

OM: Just what you say, re­al­ly. Some notes.

DD: Ok.

OM: So you are well known for your evil laugh. Can we hear it?

DD: Oh, come on, I’m em­bar­rassed?

OM: Just on­ce?

DD: Ok. Ok. (bash­ful­ly) Mwahahahahahahahaha! (echoes)

OM: That is some evil laugh. Chilling, re­al­ly.

DD: Thank you.

OM: Something both­er­ing you?

DD: Yeah. Are you sure you’ll ed­it out the part with my for­mal name?

OM: Sure.

DD: And you didn’t take my cred­it card num­ber, right?

OM: Just some notes.

DD: Ok. I just wor­ry. I have a rep­u­ta­tion you know, for evil. It’ll be hard to fo­cus on my evil ex­ploits when I am wor­ry­ing about iden­ti­ty theft and things like that.

OM: Understandable.

DD: I have an ap­point­ment to keep. How long will this in­ter­view last?

OM: As long as you want it to.

DD: Ok, one more ques­tion.

OM: Ok. Given the cur­rent so­cio-po­lit­i­cal cli­mate in the United States, and given the fact that a scant 35% of all reg­is­tered vot­ers ac­tu­al­ly reg­u­lar­ly take part in the elec­tion process, to what do you ac­count the fact that the na­tion, which sta­tis­ti­cal­ly is so po­lit­i­cal­ly di­vid­ed, is ac­tu­al­ly rep­re­sent­ed in the me­dia as a left-lean­ing, lib­er­al so­ci­ety, most like­ly to ac­cept things like gay mar­riage, gun con­trol, and abor­tion rights?

DD: (blank stare)

OM: Thank you for your time Dastardly Dan.

DD: You are SURE you will ed­it this?

OM: Thank you, Dastardly Dan.

DD: Ok. Yes. You are wel­come. God, I hope you ed­it this.

This in­ter­view was con­duct­ed by one Eric M., a man in all ways juicier than your av­er­age av­o­cado. The views ex­pressed in this ar­ti­cle are not nec­es­sar­i­ly the views held by any­one any­where at any time. This in­ter­view is un­der his copy­right. It just ap­pears here. Yea ver­i­ly, all your base are be­long to us.

Sidekick Suck

Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Last week, Organic Mechanic be­gan a new se­ries which seeks to ex­plore a va­ri­ety of the fas­ci­nat­ing and con­tro­ver­sial fig­ures of the 21st cen­tu­ry. Our first in­ter­view was with the in­fa­mous and rarely-in­ter­viewed Captain Spacepants. Today we in­ter­view his part­ner-in-crime of 15 years, Sidekick Suck – mas­ter of suck­age, con­tro­ver­sial per­for­mance artist, and au­thor of the phrase “Suck it” which has re­cent­ly re­gained pop­u­lar­i­ty in the char­ac­ter of Karen Walker on Will & Grace.

OM: As you know, Sidekick Suck, two weeks ago we at OM were af­ford­ed the rare op­por­tu­ni­ty of in­ter­view­ing Captain Spacepants. Now, you’ve been Captain Spacepants’ side­kick for 13 years. Is that cor­rect?

SS: Smp smp. Smp smp.

OM: My bad. Looks like we need some new fact-check­ers over here at OM. (chuck­ling) Anyways, in lieu of your 15–year re­la­tion­ship with Captain Spacepants, how did you feel when you found out that Spacepants didn’t men­tion you even on­ce in the course of his in­ter­view?

SS (gri­mac­ing): Smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp; smp smp smp smp smp.

OM: Was this ar­gu­ment what led to your fi­nal falling out and even­tu­al es­trange­ment? Or was it hav­ing to live in the shad­ow of some­one with such long-last­ing no­to­ri­ety that did it in?

SS: Smp smp! Smp smp smp: smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp, “Smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp!”

OM: Okay. Well… then let me change the sub­ject.
Now your arch-neme­ses are the Committee on Moral Taste which has gone so far as to threat­en both of your lives be­cause of your “crimes again­st hu­man pro­gress.” Spacepants’ goal is more of a gen­er­al sort, (and I quote) to “make the world more tol­er­ant of those it con­sid­ers ‘in bad taste.’” Now, as his side­kick, and as a well-re­spect­ed per­for­mance artist as well, your work’s goals are more speci­fic… Given your sa­vant-like tal­ents in the world of suck­ing, your goal be­came to “nor­mal­ize” the world of sex­u­al “de­vian­cy” and to raise aware­ness about our ever-present mor­tal­i­ty by bring­ing the­se is­sues back again and again in­to the pub­lic light, through both your art and your role as side­kick. What kind of op­po­si­tion have you met again­st this?

SS: Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. 

OM: Yes, quite sim­i­lar to that of Mapplethorpe. However, de­spite your best ef­forts, your work on­ly seems to raise the hack­les on your enemy’s (as well as the gen­er­al public’s) neck. Might there be a more ef­fec­tive way to tack­le the no­tions of sex and death that would more suc­cess­ful­ly take away some of their taboo? 

SS: Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp.

OM: Intriguing. I sup­pose I’d nev­er quite thought of it that way.

SS: Smp smp. (grin­ning)

OM: Now – and I’m sure you were ex­pect­ing this ques­tion at some point – your su­per­heroic tal­ent has to do with the mon­strous size of your mouth, cor­rect?

SS: Smp.

OM: I’ve heard that it can ex­pand to a shock­ing width of some 3 feet and a height of 2.5 feet, a trait that has made you pop­u­lar with both the ladies (given your 6-foot long tongue and its four ex­tra mus­cles) and the fel­lows, but rather un­pop­u­lar with your en­e­mies.

SS: Smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp.

OM: Really? Well, I won­der if you might give us a demon­stra­tion. I know our read­ers at home can­not see what you will be do­ing, but we can do our best to de­scribe it.

SS: Smp. 

Sidekick Suck stands up on his chair. His jaw un­latch­es and his mouth opens to a re­mark­able width. His eyes and nose are blot­ted out like the sun dur­ing a so­lar eclipse. As though his face en­cir­cles a black­hole, large ob­jects start to grav­i­tate quick­ly to­wards it and he is forced to quick­ly close it.

OM: Impressive! So I no­ticed that your jaw un­latch­es like a snake. But how does the whole suc­tion-thing work?

SS: Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp.

OM: Wow. Just like a black­hole but you can turn the pow­er on and off. Amazing.

SS: Smp smp.

OM: And the di­ges­tion process?

SS: Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. 

OM: This is one of the points of op­po­si­tion again­st you, no? The fact that some claim you are a “vig­i­lante,” a “boun­ty hunter,” tak­ing the law in­to your own hands and forc­ing your en­e­mies to suf­fer hor­ri­ble deaths?

SS: Smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp.

OM: True.
Now given the way your jaw un­latch­es like that of a snake and given the Hoover-like pow­er that comes from such a large mouth, ru­mor has it that this could not pos­si­bly be due to a ge­net­ic anom­aly. That you in fact had your face sur­gi­cal­ly-al­tered on your quest for pop­u­lar­i­ty in what first be­gan as per­for­mance art but lat­er evolved in­to quests of a more su­per-hero­ic na­ture. Is this true?

SS (sigh­ing): Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp.

OM: Your moth­er died while breast­feed­ing you? My god, what a hor­ri­ble tragedy. I ex­tend my sym­pa­thies to you and your fa­ther. What that must’ve been like grow­ing up…

SS: Smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp.

OM: Just a few more ques­tions be­fore you go, as I know you’re on a tight sched­ule and have a per­for­mance piece you are putting on in front of the capi­tol build­ing in just a cou­ple of hours… You were, in fact, the rea­son for the resur­gence in pop­u­lar­i­ty of the 69 po­si­tion, cor­rect, af­ter a mishap at one of your per­for­mances in the late ‘80s?

SS (chuck­ling): Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp. Smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp.

OM: And your book, How the Ladies Moan: Memoirs of a Ladies’ Man which was on the best­seller list for over two months…

SS: Smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp.

OM: In your mem­oirs, do you ad­dress any ru­mors about whether you and Captain Spacepants ever shared more than just a “work” re­la­tion­ship, per­haps a tor­rid ro­mance that led to the dis­so­lu­tion of your su­per­heroic duo? And would you like to dis­cuss this top­ic a bit more, clear up any ru­mors that have been cir­cu­lat­ing, that kind of thing?

SS: Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp. Smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp smp smp smp smp smp smp. Smp smp. Smp.

OM:knew there had to be some sort of perk to that ra­dioac­tive green mo­hawk!

SS and OM share a hearty laugh.

OM: Final ques­tion… Inquiring minds would like to know why it is that you on­ly talk in suck­ing nois­es. This log­i­cal­ly makes very lit­tle sense since a) it im­plies that I (an ig­no­rant, cul­tur­al­ly close-mind­ed American) know your lan­guage (suck-ese?) and am able to con­verse with you, b) it makes one won­der why we failed to write in a trans­la­tor to trans­late, and c) it seems to be a cheap and des­per­ate at­tempt to get laughs (which I’m guess­ing are go­ing to be few and far be­tween nonethe­less) .

SS: I don’t know ac­tu­al­ly. Ask the crazy bitch who con­coct­ed this in­ter­view. Oops. I mean, smp smp.

This in­ter­view was con­duct­ed by Miss Lauren Spisak, that crazy bitch over at My Defective Life. The views ex­pressed should have been yours but aren’t since she wrote them first. The in­ter­view is un­der her copy­right. It’s just pub­lished here.