Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Too Much Fear and Loathing I guess......

I don't quite know what to say about the death of Dr. Gonzo/Raul Duke/Uncle Duke/Hunter S. Thompson. He is the reason I like to write. The reason I like to spew bile and bitch. The reason I don't like to accept the status quo. The reason I majored in journalism. The reason I love outlandish metaphor. The reason I still respect Rolling Stone. The reason why I love the Warren Zevon song Lawyers Guns and Money. I am not up for writing some long eulogy or some hack job at coopting his voice (after all didn't he teach us to respect our own voice no matter how much strange wierdness it embodies...) instead I just want to say goodbye and thank you for the wonderful journalism/prose/fiction/literature/cheap attacks and all around outlaw bad craziness.

I have yet to decide how I want to have a private memorial. I could watch the extras on the Criterion collection version of the fear and loathing movie, I could re read a classic book, I could buy his new book, I could buy Where the Buffalos Roam on DVD, I could scour the net for others thoughts, I could keep peacocks as pets, I could tie on one last classic bender before fully retiring into married bliss, you'll have to stay tuned. I am basically just thinking out loud. A lot has been said in the last 24 hours about how HST was really an early blogger, and as lame as that sounds I have to admit that when blogging first hit my conscience I was reminded about how they read like Thompson's late night letter and faxes to his varied and diverse friends that have been collected in two volumes of books, a underappriciated addition to his cannon by the way.

The suicide part really bothers me. I have always been a hard liner on the suicide issue (pathetic/so what/cheapway out etc) and if he had died of some glorious overdose, the effects of hardlivin or even just run of the mill old age/diesease I would mourn but figure the wheel of life spins on, but suicide?????? This man who laughed at death from a mpotorcycle on a hairpin turn with a head full of acid and chivas regal? Was the legend and the man so at odds that it finally crushed him. I know Woody Creek was constantly besieged by hipster pilgrims and junkies, I know from his letters that a human bieng exsisted uderneath the grizzled inebriated zietgiest, I also witnessed on an English documentary how in old age he seemed imprisoned by his persona and suffered delusional paranoia. I remember when I watched that a year ago that I was depressed and feel like he needed a hug and a long nap. I guess when I think about what I saw on that doc I understand why he decided to pull a Cobain, but I will admit that I keep hoping his death will be announced as an accident as he cleaned his gun or was playing russian roulette with Tom Wolfe.

For any of you new to his work who now want to check it out here is a quick overview of some of my favorites:

Hell Angels: His first book. Great in a way a bands first album is. Proto-style. A great piece of Journalism that nails the 60's in the way it should be remembered, as a freaky scene. Go fuck yourself Sonny Barger.

Fear and Loathing at the Kentucky Derby: You can go home again! But it helps to bring a limey and the right "perscriptions" (Found in the collection The Great Shark Hunt)

Fear and Loathing at the Superbowl 72: Both the Good Doctor and I live(d) for the NFL. His recent work on Espn.com's Page 2 (see link in my faves) was great football talk that eats the monday morning quaterback for lunch.

The Curse of Lono: Great art, great story. Great look at empire building.

Generation of Swine: Good predictions about the future we are living right now.

I am realizing that this is now longer than the NY Times obit (Sandra Dee got more ink...huh?) so I will wrap it up.

When the going gets wierd the wierd gets shot out of a cannon,

Yours in Gonzo,
Chris Larry

ps editing this would be silly, plenty of mistakes....deal!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Ghost in the Machine

I have now become a believer in the truism that machines have souls. Why else would they mock us with their promise of a digital Eldorado and than rabbit punch us with their fickle workings. I can hear the gears, fans and motherboards laughing at me as they break, stall and just choose not to work on demand. And it doesn't matter how much I love and pamper them or even if I ignore and maltreat them, they still act out of their own conscience choosing their actions like mood swings.

Yours in HAL,

Saturday, February 05, 2005

An Open Letter to Jeff Simmermon

Dear Jeff,

I know we have been in many an e-battle over the years either via email, the WXJM listserve or even the occasional phone exchange, but I am afraid I have to call you out on the carpet once again. Your recent post about the Iraq elections, although engagingly written, was shallow and transparent. These truths have only been proven by your instant glorification of self by immediately turning your new found "blog fame" with conservative net surfers into calls for employment, adds on your blog and your desperate need to be paid for your "art". Any authenticity that you may have strived for by venting your emotional confusion (which I read as shallowness of thinking and proof of Adult ADD ) was immediately lost by your basking in the aftermath. If you do rocket to fame over a week of extra internet hits let it not be forgotten the dead bodies of US and Iraq citizens you will stand on top of for being brave enough to go to a polling center in D.C. and spew your feelings on a blog (hardly a revolutionary idea in 2005 America by the way)

Lets look at your posts after your "big day"

1. More to come: Alerting everyone to how much traffic your getting and the plethora of comments like the masses are watching like a stock ticker. "Look at me", Look at me..."Also you gleefully straddle the fence, most likely to keep the hits coming and stoking the fire of "come over to our side" rhetoric from all sides of the Risk board.

2. Now That the Party is Over: The title says it all on how you feel about your new found acclaim. War as personal party? Finally you have the pulpit! Again here you use stats and proof of relevence to make sure everyone is aware that your bigtime now.

"A lot of people said that they'd bookmark this blog and come back regularly, which is amazing. It also creates a lot of pressure. See, last week I was just preaching to the choir and I could say pretty much any old thing I felt like. More than one of my posts would have been about things I observed in the workplace bathroom. Now the pressures on to be reasonable and intelligent."

What when your friends and family were the only ones who cared you fed them shit writing but now that the same people who endorse torture, vilify gays, control the media and want to control our bedrooms are bookmarking your page the pressure is on? Are we really supposed to feel for you as you question if you can sum up the greatness it will take to bring us all together politically? And the fake "woe is me, what do I do.." act is laughable. Your like the corporate rock band who publicly sweats the sophomore slump to drum up interest.

But the WORST sin of this entry is the egominiacal way you immediately try turn your breakthrough into some kind of J-O-B, so you can be paid for your brilliance. You even give hints of future public soul searching like exploiting the injured soldiers, and the ridiculous idea that anyone cares about your thoughts on the state of the union address.

Also do you honestly think a week from now when instapundit (a group you should look into before enjoying their spotlight by the way) has moved on to some new goosestep, you'll still be a star??? Tell you what, in 3 weeks why don't you post your site stats again for a little compare and contrast.

3. A Bit of business: This a joke right? Have the delusions of grandeur really taken hold this fast? Have the DT's started yet? I like you Jeff, I really do, so I am hoping this is at least half in jest and I will withhold my full rant, benefit of the doubt style.

4. Whoah: I am going to reprint this one in all its glory. Notice the fake modesty of "my little post"

"In addition to the link to InstaPundit, Metafilter picked me up this afternoon. If you're just dying for some more comments and arguments surrounding my little post, have a look.

Also, I've been having such an itch to actually go over there as a journalist myself. While I am not a "real" journalist, I'd love to go see the situation firsthand and write about it. If any of you know a way I can get there as a journalist and have my costs and time off of work covered, let me know."

Did you just ask someone to sponsor you to go to Iraq and blog? That has got to be the biggest fetish rubberneck of all time. Do you really think that one emotive (read: not intellectual or though provoking just "feelings" puked out) blog and a week of attention by a FRAGMENT of the blogosphere anoints you to cover war, famine, death, reconstruction, religious difference....its not a theme park dude!

A comment on this entry sums it up better than I can:

"I'd like to nominate this idea for next year's Darwin awards. With everything that needs to get done over there, and taking into consideration all of the people that really need to be over there but aren't, as well as all of the people desperately trying to get out of there, could there be a more worthless death than a Blogger in Iraq?"

If you want to go over there ON YOUR OWN DIME, be my guest and I will read your posts, but please don't think your wisdom and insight should be underwritten, the Medici's are long dead. You remind me of that suburban Philly kid who went over to Iraq, without being asked or having contacts, to reap his fortune by building cell phone towers or some such. Remember him? He got his head cut off on television. Download the clip and than talk big, while your at it look up "carpetbagging" and "war profiteering"

5. While Life May Be Tough Right Now, Everything's Gonna Be Alright: Outside of proving you own a copy of Bob Marley's Legend, this post also highlights the other avenues your writing talents can be used by hungry content providers. Jeff can do fiction and creative writing and be arty.

Jeff basically I guess I find your motivations shallow and broadcast like the banner adds you plan to post all over your site. Your profile begs for you to be discovered, and you announce your goals for fame, money, stardom and travel. Not to mention you link to other high profile sites and blogs looking for recognition and trackback hits (ie Salon and the oh-so 2003 Wonkette.) It makes me question the sincerity of your original post as maybe you thought it would be a good way to drum up some attention to your blog, which previously had just been a spit into the ocean of net babble (not an insult by the way, I view mine the same way.) Even though I do think you were/are genuine, your reaction since has caused me great doubt and angered me. I am not going to tear down your political ideas or your morphing into a conservative butterfly as your new fans see it, but I do ask that you take yourself out of it a bit. The world doesn't owe you anything, and fame isn't found at the morgue.

P.J. O'rourke you are not.

Yours in Flip Flopery,
Chris Larry

P.S. I hope this post gets me some of Jeff's fame....

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Count down begins until Phoebe Agnes Plumley's first bite of Wiz With

Just in time to see her Daddy's Eagles in the superbowl, Phoebe Agnes Plumley has entered the world. Everyone is healthy and subsisting on from what I can tell rasberry pancakes and meatballs. After they discovered it was a girl Amy P was heard to exult, "Yes we wont be parents to a Jerome, Randall or Buddy!!" Phoebe Cates is reported to be baby P's namesake, lets hope she never has to run into Judge Rienhold!

Phoebe Agnes Plumley

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Friday, February 04, 2005

Movie List Pt. 1

I only saw 19 films of the 2004 year in movies. I am embarrassed in front you, my maker and myself. Excuses are only more wasted karma. Most of what I saw I knew I would like and many held up, so while my quantity is down, quality has at least held the line. I don’t buy this notion that this was a toilet year for movies. It was average at worst, although I admit that the loss of Middle Earth had me feeling empty in my deepest consumer soul.

I have decided to take a throw-back approach and serialize my list on the blog over the next few days and than put the complete list on balgavy.com’s collection for digital posterity. So today…


1) Sideways: What can I add really. Giamatti has been brilliant in any movie since Private Parts. Really kicked About Schmidt’s ass.

2) Starsky & Hutch: Every so often in the dynastic cycle of comedy, groups of performers get known for working well together. We seem to be in the midst of a current bull rush by the Wilson brothers/Will Farrell/Vince Vaughn/Ben Stiller and ilk as they pump out the movies. (I insert cute take on Brat Pack here) I dig it. We also saw this after the little lady and I had endured an all day Pre-Canna class from the 4th dimension. The old queens Italian couple (both catholics AND previously divorced giving advice on marriage.) The place was packed with like 65 couples. So maybe I was just happy to watching my boy Vince and soak up the brilliant Farrell cameo, which was better than his characters in Elf or Anchorman.

3) Meet the Faulkers: Loved MtP1, liked MtP2. The baby genius and dog/cat stuff is disheartening, but the rest all works. Dustin Hoffman has not been this good in a movie since Tootsie. Have you seen the Terri Polo nudie pics. Yikes! Long way from Sports Night.

4) Dodgeball: How can I hate this movie as it was central to a Summer Dan & Liesure Time Larry outing? Vince was under used. Ben Stiller was named for like 5 razzies this year, and he is way overexposed but I still think he is funny, in fact funnier than he was like 10 years ago with garbage like Reality Bites. He is in 5 of my 6 comedies this year AND I liked 4 of’em. His over the top skit comedy character performance is my favorite of his many recent roles. Jason Bateman was good as was the ESPN parody. Rip Torn is always a sentimental favorite of mine, remember Summer Rental? Classic.

5) Anchorman: Paul Rudd is short. This movie is a cousin of the SNL character as entire movie genre. Still loved it though, so wont quibble. Gang fight scene was highlight as was Jack Black cameo. I get the JB thing a lot, which is dualy flattering and depressing. But as Mary will testify I say “that’s how I roll” almost as much as I claim to be a “wildman” so she flipped when he spit out that classic line.

6) Along Came Polly: OK give Stiller a Razzie on this one.

Comedies I am shamed for not seeing yet: I Heart Huccabees, Life Aquatic, Shaun od the Dead, Baadasssss, Mean Girls, Saved, Napolean Dynamite.

I will be desperately trying to catch up and maybe will do updates if viewed previous to Oscars.

Next Up: Drama!

Yours in Flash Gordon,

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

OK quick hit style since I am at work...

And yes it is officially work now as I have been hired to be the Video conferencing/Distance learning teacher at my new home away from home the Museum of Television & Radio!!!! This is only a part time job, but it does mean that I will be paid for two of the three days of my internship and will stay on the staff past my Bank Street internship. Suffice it to say I am crazy siked. Any teachers out there with VC capability lets TALK! We have programs on animation, muppets, Women on TV, Civil Rights on TV, Vietnam on TV and Advertising! Finally I will be the TV talking head I have always dreamed of...now time to lose some weight as I have put on the married 50 pounds. I never realized all married people did was eat.

In my research for my new position I have discovered a great new theorist and theory, Connectivism. I am falling hard for it. Here is a the dude's blog elearnspace.

From his blog I also discovered an article by Christine Rosen in the New Atlantis about 'Egocasting' which is a strong argument against DVR's/Ipod's/Remote controls and On Demand cable, all things I happen to worship. However Ms. Rosen's piece is excellent and thought provoking, lets get some chatter up about it!

Coming Attractions:

I am going to totally rework the look of my blog, add pics and rework my links as I have have tons of new fave blogs, hopefully superbowl Sunday morning this will happen. Any suggestions...the way it is now sucks.

Movie list is on its way, I will post as blog entry. Kind of different format as I rank by genre. Will hopefully get link from balgavy.com when its done.

Thoughts on Iraq election, and some commentary on the phenom which is the Jeff Simmermon's blog entry about his conversion to imperialism.

Yours in media literacy,