Angry Little Tank

Rants, chants and cants....all written while wearing no pants!

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I'd let Sheryl Crowe touch ME, and I'm GAY

At first I didn't think much of the news that broke Sunday afternoon that Laurie David and Sheryl Crowe caused a bit of a stir at the annual Correspondent's Dinner. For one thing, that dinner is only interesting if Colbert is nailing those jackasses to the wall. For another thing, I just assumed that Crowe and David used Rove as so much PR backdrop in order to promote their global warming awareness tour. Lord knows that jackass has chewed and spit out countless poor souls to further his twisted agenda, who cares if he comes off looking like even more of an evil bastard at some jerk off dinner to honor the steno pool that is our Washington press corp.

But Glenn Greenwald had more of a novel take. This whole incident kind of shines a light on the whole sorry bunch. Journalists dressing up in black tie to hobnob with the powerful and famous (Sanjaya was there?) to make themselves feel important. The fig leaf of journalistic integrity they meekly hold forth whenever called on how they get everything wrong wrong wrong suddenly just drops once a year and you see these people for who they are. Pathetic celebrity wanna-bes. Desperate to be close to people who have power, who have fame. To curry their favor and advocate for their wars.

Those who cross the line like Crowe and David are ridiculed. As Glenn says:

These journalists and political operatives excitedly invite Hollywood celebrities to their parties so they can feel celebrated and glamorous, and then spend the next day condescendingly mocking the celebrities they invited and spent all night eagerly fondling, all in order to feel superior and elevated above the muck ("ha, ha -- as though Sheryl Crow (whom we invited and chased around hoping to speak with) knows anything about global warming or other Important Political Things! Ha ha!").

I haven't forgotten about blogging the Middle East as I indicated in last week's post. I just got a new camcorder and went to the zoo to try it out. I'm now editing the whole thing with iMovie, which is probably the coolest thing (in a long line of things) that Mac users get that you PC users don't. I'll get on the Middle East in a bit.....don't want to OD on outrage or anything.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Guess we'll just have to do it ourselves

I was listening to Bob Edwards during the commute last week and heard Jim MacNeil (of MacNeil/Lehrer fame) talk about his upcoming series on PBS "Crossroads". I was mildly interested in the premise which is to basically try and unravel current US/Middle East relations with a series of two hours movies. I figured if anybody could try and tackle it in our impoverished news culture it would be PBS.

Then I heard they were devoting one two hour movie to Richard Perle. You know, its true. If there's one advocacy group whose perspective just hasn't been getting heard these past six years its been the neocons and Richard Perle. Those guys just NEVER seem to get what they want.

I also heard they were doing a profile on Irshad Manji. I'll always remember her as the obnoxious loudmouth who showed up on Bill Maher in early 2005 to declare that the "purple finger revolution" was going to radically alter the Middle East. Best of all - she did this while raising her index finger and slowly nodding her head up and down, not unlike some sort of retarded suburban housewife "testifying" at a Whitney Houston concert. Clearly war cheerleaders need yet another forum, we haven't heard nearly enough justifications for this ill fated endeavor from our current media outlets.

All I could do was sigh (yet again) and wonder what in the hell happened to intellectual rigor in this country (again).

Then I read this article at earlier this week. The author, Gary Kamiya, seems to share my frustration in how little intellectual curiosity the American media seems to possess in regard to our dangerously poor Middle East relations.

This paragraph really jumped out at me:

Here's what "Crossroads" should have included. First, it should have devoted one film to this war of ideas, giving each side its due. Then it should have commissioned another film offering a historical survey of the Middle East starting in 1798, when Napoleon invaded Egypt, and ending today. This film would have looked at French and British colonialism and its effects on the development of Arab democracies. It would have talked about the Sykes-Picot Agreement that betrayed Arab nationalist hopes after WWI, and Great Britain's imperialist misadventures in Iraq, which so closely resemble our own. The Palestinian naqba, or catastrophe, would be covered. The film would examine the U.S.-backed coup in 1953 that removed Iranian leader Muhammad Mossadegh. The Suez crisis, the failure of Arab nationalism, America's long proxy war with the USSR in the Middle East, the Six-Day War and 1973 October war, and U.S. hypocrisy in dealing with Saddam Hussein would all be discussed. The Algerian government's fateful decision in 1991 to suspend elections when it became clear Islamists were going to win -- a decision followed by an appalling civil war that killed 200,000 people -- would be covered. And it would have looked at Israel's 2006 war against Lebanon.
Half of these events (the Sykes-Picot Agreement?) I'm ashamed to say I've never even heard of prior to reading this article. But that's no excuse for not learning about them now. Armed with Wikipedia and my dwindling spare time I hope to start covering these topics in the hopes of arriving at a better understanding of how we find ourselves in an intractable and unwinnable war.

If anybody has anything to add about any of these topics let me know and I'll post it. The idea would be to get some sort of real conversation going.

Because if you're waiting for the US media to provide you with any information aside from the identify of Anna Nicole Smith's baby daddy, you're going to be sorely disappointed.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

To paraphrase Robert Plant...

"If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now...its just some sort of glowering bald douchebag"

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Clueless cackling jackals

Want a quick three minute summary of the current state of American journalism? Watch this pathetic three minute video of Chris Matthews yukking it up with four other media superstars over how awful its going to be for Democrats if they pursue investigations into the politically motivated firings of US District Attorneys (God it felt dirty just to TYPE that).

For the record, polling conducted over the weekend indicates that over 72% of Americans WANT this matter investigated and pursued.

Want to know how we find ourselves in our an unwinnable quagmire? Want to know how our political discourse has become a kindergardenesque babble of lies? Take another look at this video.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Don't tell me the French aren't brave

Any nation that would eat something like this clearly has some steel in its spine. We came across this restaurant and this gory dish when making reservations for our trip to France in May. We're going to have one decadent (read expensive) lunch and one decadent dinner.

So yeah, you can look forward to long winded boring blog posts in June about Parisians and food.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Karma is indeed a bitch

Anybody who deigns to chastise the Democrats for recently backing out of a scheduled Presidential debate that was to broadcast on Fox News, should watch this video. And then watch it again.

This is not a legitimate news organization. There is no reason for anybody to continue to treat it as such. There's certainly no reason to support it by allowing it to broadcast one of the Democratic debates.

These people are supposedly fans of the magical hand of the market. Well, we're taking our dollars elsewhere due to general inability to do anything buy ferociously fellate far right interests.

Deal with it pussies.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Better know a douchebag

Not content to simply portray weakness and indecision to the point where the public doesn't know what Democrats stand for, it seems as though the Democratic "leaders" we've been suffering under since the early 90's are now concerned with Stephen Colbert.

I only WISH I was joking.

Rahm Emmanuel is the very same douchebag that urged Democrats to get behind Bush in 2003 when real debate on this stupid war was needed. Rahm Emmanuel is the very same douchebag who cheerled this war long after it was evident to even our sycophantic press that everything was going downhill (like so many people, not Democrats mind you, said it would). Rahm Emmanuel is the very same douchebag who ridiculed Howard Dean's 50 state strategy that made efforts to reach out to people in each corner of this nation, as if people in Alabama aren't worth our time or effort. He comes from the Joe Lieberman school of kissing the ass of every GOP pundit in the hopes of currying their favor.

And now this guy is urging all Democratic congressmen to avoid going on Colbert's show? Yeah because God knows having our leaders on one of the hippest shows on TV can only hurt at this point, right? The reason given is as condescending as it is stupid, this jackass thinks people won't realize that having congressmen talk about cocaine or elminating species from the planet won't be seen as a joke.

Its long past time we got rid of people like this. They think we're idiots and they treat us accordingly. If we're going to get out of this mess we find ourselves in, people like Rahm Emmanuel need to be ignored. Completely. I sincerely hope this segment on Stephen's show becomes more popular than ever after this.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Where ya been?

One of the main reasons I've been neglecting my blog is my recent purchase of a 40 inch Sony LCD HDTV. As we speak I'm rawking out to Foo Fighters doing "Monkey Wrench" in my living room. David Grohl looks like he's about to kiss me, I kind of dig it.

If you can afford it, I highly recommend you make the jump to digital. Its unreal how awesome everything looks. There's a whole world of programming you know nothing about unless you go digital. "Sunrise Earth" on Discovery HD which basically showcases sunrises around the world. Hour long programs of cameras set up in Yosemite. Crazy full length concerts like Rush. I just watched Kiss for crying out loud (by the way, makeup ain't keepin you guys from looking old guys).

Don't even get me started on gaming on this thing.

So yeah, bitching about Bush or the morons at work hasn't seemed so important recently. Though I'm sure bullshit like this will have me directing my ire towards DC in a bit. For now I'm gonna go play with my HD Wii.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Its official - outrage overload

As any frequent reader of this blog could attest (and if there are any out there after my very infrequent posting, uh...welcome back?) I have a short fuse. Lord knows the lack of anything resembling any semblance of intelligence in our "leadership", our politics, our journalism, and our discourse has been pretty in our face for the last six years or so. Hence Angry Little Tank was born.

Then I discovered this guy. Talk about depressing. I don't think the internet has ever had a talent quite like Glenn Greenwald. He's able to articulate his rage and call out these assholes in a way that nobody else has been able to in my lifetime. I'm not exaggerating. Do your brain a favor and read him every day.

I wrestled with the idea of closing this blog down in light of his recent higher profile gig at Salon. Then I said, you know what? Fuck that. There's plenty of rage to go around. I could riff off the jackasses in my neighborhood and never cease to amuse myself. Work is a goldmine of idiocy as well, waiting for sardonic skewering in blog form.

And who says I can't dip my toe in political rage in blog form as well? Hell in the six weeks or so since I last graced the blogosphere we've learned of Gonzales' Justice Department firing US attorneys who weren't sufficiently partisan, our wounded soliders recuperating in rat infested hellholes, Democratic inability to end this stupid fucking war, and the continuing decline of American journalism.

But what has inspired me to vent my spleen this evning?

Garrison Fucking Keillor. David Rakoff skewers this jackass rightly. Its one thing to hear some Republican mock gay marriage. They've been obsessed with gay sex since firmly shutting their closet door and turning on the AM radio. But an NPR darling who has been married three times telling us that we have no right to be together? Fuck you asshole.

I never thought that cornball Lake Wobegone shit was funny. In fact I thought his whole shctick was creepy. Now I know why.

Its been said a thousand times before, but more frequent blogging going forward. Seriously.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Don't put them Depends on girl, he ain't worth it!

In what can only be described as a sad interweaving of Cops, CSPAN, and The Golden Girls, we learned today of an astronaut who drove almost a thousand miles overnight to stalk her boyfriend (who is ALSO an astroanut) and his new girlfriend.

Apparently this woman packed a bunch of trash bags, a knife and a lot of rubber tubing (huh?) in her station wagon and headed out from Houston to Cape Canaveral because she "wanted to talk".

The best part?

Police allege Nowak drove 950 miles (1,529 km) from Houston to Orlando -- wearing adult diapers so she would not have to stop to urinate -- and disguised herself in a dark wig, glasses and trench coat to confront her rival, Colleen Shipman, who according to media reports is a captain in the U.S. Air Force.

Now I'll admit, this guy is kind of hot. I can see myself driving a few hours to do some stalking for him, sure. I gotta draw the line at being so urgent at getting my stalkin on that I plan ahead on pissing in my pants. Repeatedly.

I mean I'm sure the urination situation in space prepares you for some, let's say uncomfortable situations, but how long does it take to stop in at a Wendy's and urinate before you go chop your ex's new girlfriend into a million bits?

I guess the good news is that after spending two weeks in a space capsule she'll be uniquely qualified to deal with the frequent delousings and bouts in solitary confinement she'll be participating in for...let's say....5-10.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I say no to Stupidity Day

I agree 100% with Andrew Sullivan about just turning your back on the idiotic hype that grips the US each year in the form of the "Super Bowl". The pre-game shows that begin at noon. The oh so amusing corporate ads that cost millions. The immense importance all must surely feel in watching heavily padded steroid abusers run a ball up and down an astroturf field in 10 second spurts.

You can keep it.

Anybody who has even a rudimentary knowledge of the game of rugby outside of "don't you guys get naked when you score" knows already that the NFL is a sham. Everything good about team sports has been hyped beyond recognition. Everything is awash in piles of corporate cash. From the bloated millions made by the players to the $6 hot dogs the endless parade of drunken stadium patrons must pay simply for the privelage of watching the whole sorry spectacle.

30 guys on a grass pitch on a crisp fall morning playing two 40 minute halves. Afterwards everyone goes for a pint. I'll go watch that instead thanks.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Fuck the New Republic, or Flip on the light switch and watch them all scatter

I have a confession to make. I used to subscribe to the New Republic. I mean for YEARS. I readily listened to their ramblings about the relationships between the hand of the free market and the spread of democracy throughout the world. I eagerly awaited the next rambling from Provincetown from editor Andrew Sullivan (oh my God, is that what he looks like?! That's one Republican I'd bend over and....), and I never questioned that the opinions of the editors were those of an enlightened and evolved liberal intelligentsia.

Yes we were going to ride Bill Clinton's unique brand of laissez faire economics coupled with common sense social legislation right into the 21st century and beyond. The fact that Newt Gingrich and that gang opposed the entire idea just made it seem that much more attractive.

Then the war happened. Suddenly the real agenda of the New Republic became clear. Keep the liberals on the reservation at all costs. Make them think that their nutty ideas were never going to be taken seriously so the best thing to do would be to just try and go along with whatever the Republicans wanted. Or better yet, try and come up with new and better justifications for going to war than the the neo-cons ever could.

Who can forget the famous cases for war issue of the New Republic with nuclear mushroom cloud on the cover? Their endorsement of Joe Lieberman for president? Their near constant fellating of Bush's war plans. Which war plans you ask? Uhhh..that would be all of them.

One of the greatest joys I had in 2003 was cancelling my subscription after 8 years. I'm taking even greater joy in learning that I wasn't alone. Most people are seeing these jackasses for who they really are and circulation has plummeted to Limbaugh Letter levels.

Of course being caught red handed engaging in sock puppetry or being an outright racist while publishing your vile little screeds doesn't help either.

My new favorite thing to do? Get out the thickest black Sharpie we own and scrawl "Lieberman for President? FUCK YOU!!!" on all of the subscription renewal offers we receive every other week and then mail them back to TNR in the postage paid envelope.

RIP enabling DINO rags..wherever you are.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Will no one play with my Wii?

36 year old emotionally stunted gay man seeks other like minded individuals for long saturday afternoons handling my Wiimote. Feel free to bring your own peripherals as I'm extremely open minded. Interests include androgynous anti-heros, homoerotic JRPG side quests, and Guitar Hero. Bass players step to the front of the line.

Also looking for gay only Wii handlers to participate in my unique vision of a Mii gay parade. Prizes will be awarded for gayest virtual costume as well as most sexy and sexiest Mii bear.

If anybody has any idea what I'm talking about.....holla?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Here's your new f*@!ing post!

Blogging has been light recently due to a pretty crazy work schedule. I was taken to task last night about posting new content, so time to get back on the wagon.

Suffice it to say, life sucks right now. Long hours down at the client and a high level of stress. I was handling it well up to a point, but then I gradually just started to get more and more upset about it. A toxic brew of long hours, demanding requests and antagonistic attitudes all around.

This is the first weekend I've had off in a while, hopefully once I catch my breath my mood will improve. I'd like to think this whole experience is at least teaching me stress management skills, but looking back on some of the outbursts I had while on the job I'd have to say I let the stress get to me just a bit.

I long for the day I can retire and stop dealing with accounting. The crushing deadlines that force human beings to live in flourescent lit cubicle prisons. The insecurities that mask themselves in the form of arrogance and aggression. People weren't meant to live like this. The money is OKAY, but not enough to warrant this "lifestyle".

Of course this could just be a bad case of winter blues.

Compounding my foul mood is my recent distancing myself from the rugby team. I mean it was totally necessary as I can't play with my knee and treasury work was becoming a ridiculous proposition. I was beginning to feel taken advantage of. Still, seeing the rugby guys out now is just DIFFERENT. Was our entire friendship based on the team, the absence of which causes our reason to be friends to no longer exist?

Damned if I know, but that whole thing is bringing me down too.

The one bright spot? Tickets have been bought for a nice long vacation in May to France. A few days in Paris, a few days in wine country, a few more days in Paris. Its the only thing keeping me sane right now.

I promise more frequent and less maudlin postings in the future.

Update: Upon further reflection I'm going to guess that all of the above is largely due to my quitting smoking. Three weeks and counting, wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Oh so THIS is what all those support the troops stickers mean...

Every once in a while the oh-so-serious far right "analysts" who have laid this country low with their ill conceived ideas and ruthless bullying let their mask slip a little. Then you get to see them for the manipulative and hateful bastards they are.

Take the geniuses at National Review, breeding ground for pretty much every ill conceived idea we've seen the last 50 years or so. Michael Ledeen has had just about enough of those gold bricking troops over in Iraq

Note that an increase in embeds doesn’t necessarily require an increase in overall troop strength. We’ve got lots of soldiers sitting on megabases all over Iraq. They should be out and about, some of them embedded, others just moving around, tracking the terrorists, hunting them down. I don’t know how many guys and gals are sitting in air-conditioned quarters and drinking designer coffee, but it’s a substantial number. Enough of that.

I'm not sure how many guys and gals over at the National Review are sitting in air conditioned quarters drinking designer coffee, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say all of them.