Angry Little Tank

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

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Friday Wiki - Homecoming Edition

Angry Little Tank is taking a break for the next 10 days as I go on vacation. My itinerary this year is five days visiting family in beautiful downtown Melbourne Florida followed by the obligatory four day trip to Provincetown Mass.

My mother moved us to Florida in 1986 after a particularly nasty divorce in Pittsburgh. She loaded up the VW Rabbit with her three kids and drove the 20 hours down to Melbourne in August of 1986. The first thing you notice? Florida is really really hot.

Ever since then, whenever I tell people here in the blue state world that I moved to the northeast from Melbourne I always get "where is that?". Well listen up people because here is all you'll ever need to know about the sleepy little community known as Melbourne Florida. You may want to get a strong caffeinated beverage before you begin.

As you can see by the little red dot on the attached map, Melbourne is located on the east coast of Florida right below Cape Canaveral. The 70 miles of beaches we have in Brevard County is collectively known as the "Space Coast". A cute enough reference to the nearby dying space industry, until you've been jarred awake at 4am by a shuttle launch sonic boom rattling every window in your home. And for some reason shuttles are launched at 4am A LOT.

Melbourne is a town of about 75,000 people who enjoy these beaches. In fact there's not much else to enjoy in Melbourne besides these really kick ass beaches. I used to run on the beach in high school when I was on the cross country team. We'd drive out to the beach at night to hang out. We all had incredibly deep tans year round.

That's about the only positive thing I can tell you about Melbourne unfortunately. Most of the people who live there are either rednecks or retired military people from nearby Patrick Air Force Base. It makes for a very cranky and ignorant populace.

We have a mall and a movie theater. There is one nightclub that thinks it's still 1986 and that people in Melbourne want to feel like they're on the set of Miami Vice. I remember karaoke bars being overly prevalent. As in every single place you went had a thin mulleted little ratfaced dude wailing away drunk on some tortured hair metal rocker. I distinctly remember walking in quite stoned to a bar one mile from our house while home from college one year to the shrill greeting of a 250 pound man with his shirt off on the bar with a microphone asking me "YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE? YOU'RE IN THE JUNGLE BABY! YOU'RE GONNA DIIIIIEEEEE!!!"

I fled the scene immediately.

The cops seemed pretty bored too. I remember having my bicycle in the back of my truck (yes I drove a pickup truck, I went native sue me) and running into 7-11 one night. When I came out a cop was writing down my license plate into a pad. "Where did you get this bike?" Uhhh...its my bike. "Can you prove it?" and I don't have to..I'm driving home now. "I'm watching you tough guy". Whatever, goodnight Enus!

Still despite all this, I AM kind of looking forward to going home. Since successfully pulling off my escape in 1994 I haven't been back to Melbourne and frankly I'm curious to see it again. Its always good to catch up with Mom and my brother just had a new baby.

But at the end of five days I'm getting the hell out of there to party my ass off in P-town. Til then!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

State of Mind

I turn 36 years old today. Wow it feels kind of weird to even type that. Closer to 40 than 30. Certainly middle-aged. Yikes.

Still, I'm in a much better place with my aging than I was last year at this time. 35 just seemed like the end of the known universe at the time. Its hard to describe the feeling of dread I carried with me for weeks after my birthday. Like at any moment I was going to be stricken with cancer after being forced to give up my Playstation. Sci-fi movies would be replaced with French existential cinema. Friday nights drinking would be replaced by warm glasses of milk and 9pm bedtimes.

Of course none of that has happened. The only real tangible effects of my age I've seen so far has been my rapid exit from the world of rugby due to a torn ACL. I've decided to deal with it by overcompensating at the gym, which has the added benefit of making me look like a 25 year old.

So here's to another year. I'm going to concentrate on worrying less, quitting smoking more, and trying to have as much fun as I can before 40 (when the world certainly will end).

Its going to be great, I can tell.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Holy Shit!

In a rare moment of corporate obeisance, I'm going to demand that everyone who owns a car go immediately to the Geico website and get a rate quote. I just saved myself close to $1,700 a year on auto insurance.

GMAC Insurance, you're dead to me. Geico, I am your willing slave.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Friday Wiki - its all around you

So fucked up is this country right now? I mean gas is $3.50 a gallon, we're caught in a never-ending war, religious fundamentalism is on the rise, the economy is heading south, and thousands of terrorists are plotting ways to turn ordinary household chemicals into bombs you can sneak onto planes.

Our press has failed us by long ago abdicating their responsiblity to bring truth to the masses in favor of currying favor with their corporate overlords by towing the corporatist Republican line.

There's got to be one word that could describe our descent into mindless idiocy. What got us to this point?

One word which certainly fits is hubris. Exaggerated self confidence. Reckless disregard. As an added bonus, the Greeks (who invented the term) regard a hubristic act as causing particular shame for the victim of your reckless disregard.

Sound familiar?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"They don't have TV in rehab"

Dennis Leary sings the praises of the Red Sox first baseman, who just happens to be Jewish. I think you know where this is going....

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Weekend Wiki - fall rugby season kickoff edition

In honor of the kickoff of fall practice this past week of my team, the Philly Gryphons, I decided to do a quick post on the origins and rules of rugby.

And yes, I know this is two days late.

First some basics. You can only pass backwards in rugby. This ensures that the only way to move the ball forward up the field is either by running with it or kicking it. Union league play consists of 15 people on each side. There is also something called "league" play with slightly different rules and 13 people on each side. There is also something called sevens, but let's not go there.

The rules themselves are far too arcane to go into via a blog entry, especially in light of the link provided. Suffice it to say that most are ignored by the players and missed by the ref during an 80 minute battle between 30 men.

With my torn ACL still needing repair (I'm holding off gettng it fixed until I figure out what's going on with my job search), its starting to sink into my skull that I probably won't be playing again anytime soon. Its a damn shame too. I never really "got" team sports growing up and for the first time really felt like I was part of something special during a sporting event. Not to mention, playing totally butched up my image.

If you live in the Philly area and you're interested in learning more about the game or possibly participating I encourage you to check out the Gryphons (my old team, link provided above). You'll have a blast.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Great day for democracy

Its a great day when Democrats in a deep blue state like Connecticut can bounce a total creep like Lieberman off the Democratic primary ticket after 18 years of incumbancy. This guy was to the right of many REPUBLICANS in insisting that the president cannot be criticized in times of war.

Hell I could spend the next hour listing all the really obnoxious and borderline fascist things this ass has done. Instead I'm going to shave, get ready for work and enjoy this. You should too!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Oh the humanity - enough already!!!

I think its high time somebody with a modicum of sense and taste declare a jihad against any late middle-aged actor trying to relive his glory years by putting out unwanted sequels to hits from their heyday.

Who told Bruce Willis we needed Die Hard 4.0? It sure as hell wasn't me. I mean I kind of enjoyed the first one....20 YEARS AGO, but I wasn't exactly scratching my head wondering when we were going to get another.

Of course those of us who live in Philadelphia have been aware since LAST summer that we were getting a Rocky 6. Say that to yourself out loud and let it sink in. Rocky. SIX. Apparently even one with a diminished brainpan such as Stallone realized that wouldn't work so its being called
Rocky Balboa
. Incredibly he's actually going to fight in it, not just coach as he did in Rocky 5 (you know, the shit sandwich he gave us back in 1990). Ten thousand points if you knock out his dentures!

Aside from being completely unnecessary, these movies are coming in really late after their previous franchise entry. I mean, I thought we'd seen the last of Indiana Jones in 1989, but damned if they're not hauling out Indiana Jones 4. And get this, Sean Connery is going to be in it too! Have you seen either Harrison Ford or Sean Connery lately? They look as though they look as though they're ready to have their colostomy bags changed, not swinging over bottomless chasms with a whip as blood thirsty Nazis intent on regaining ancient Egyptian artifacts (or whatever) are on your heels. I hope 20th Century Fox is current on their insurance.

The saddest of all pending sequels for a sci-fi geek like me has got to be a third installment in John Carpenter's Snake Pliskin movies, which is going to be called Escape From Earth. Escape From New York was way ahead of its time. It had everything. A post-apocalyptic sci-fi universe in which the entire island of Manhattan has been turned into a penal colony. And get this - the president's plane just crashed into it. WHOOO HOOOO!!!!! DAMN that was a fun two hours.

Then we got Escape from LA like 10 years ago. Ouch. Talk about a downer. I just sat in the theater wishing I had taken that extra bong hit that was offered wondering "Did I just see Kurt Russel surfboarding down Rodeo Drive?".

Give it a rest guys. You're just diluting whatever juice these movies had back in their day by putting out weak sauce sequels. Yes I'm sure you're getting paid, but however much it is its not worth it.

And oh yeah, after last week's incident in Melibu we may be subjected to a Lethal Weapon 5 now too. Another reason to hate Gibson.

On the upside, maybe he'll call somebody "sugar tits" in it......

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Friday Wiki - What's an auto da fe?

Its what you oughtn't to do but you do anyway!

Oh the genius of Mel Brooks. I particularly liked contrasting his most Jewish method of laughing in the face of persecution against the other Mel earlier this week. The crazy ass Jew hating Mel. Part of doing that was linking to this great segment from History of the World part 1. But what does "auto da fe" mean? What are its origins?

An auto da fe was a ritual of public punishment for convicted heretics (read Muslims and Jews) that occurred during the Middle Ages. The term in Spanish means "act of faith". Jews and Muslims were herded into the public square (after a Catholic mass naturally) and tortured for public amusement. Executions often followed.

If the Mel Gibsons and Osama bin Ladens of the world get their way the Jews and gays will be subject to this and far worse. Never forget that or dismiss this just as crazy people doing crazy things.

But feel free to laugh at such injustice as often as you can. You just gotta.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mel Gibson is a Jew hating whack job

Well it finally happened, Mel Gibson managed to get himself arrested for DUI last Friday morning in Malibu and let loose on the arresting officers about his deep abiding hatred of the Jews.

How drunk was he? Not very as it turned out, just .12 blood alcohol level. The equivalent of three or four beers. Enough to loosen social inhibitions and turn batshit crazy loons into raving psychopaths.

Those of us who weren't enraptured by blood soaked pornography two years ago certainly recognized that this guy had a deep abiding anti-Semitic streak in him. The way his film protrayed the Jews could have been culled from a Torquemada tirade in Spain during the middle ages.

Of course the Christianists swooned at having a film about Christ given the Hollywood treatment replete with buckets and buckets of blood. Having had their two most virulent urges satisfied in one film (bloodlust and shoving their faith down everyone's throat) they weren't about to allow their new icon to be tained by the whiff of anti-Semitism.

Idiots like this one and this one insisted most emphatically that Mel was not anti-Semitic. Hell if anything, the BIBLE was anti-Semitic, but certainly not Mel.

Do these people EVER get tired of being wrong? About every. single. fucking. thing?

That film was utter trash. A violent pornographic horror film that self-righteously wrapped itself up in a Christian bow and presented itself to the unwashed hordes as some sort of antitode to "secularism". The man who made it has always had a torture fetish that he loves to protray on film and whether the automatons who lined up to see it want to admit it or not, they got off on watching a man tortured for two hours. Probably almost as much as Mel did when he made the movie.

As an added bonus, all the deep seated yet carefully subterfuged hatred this same crowd has for the Jewish people was quietly re-affirmed.

As such, I don't think Mel's little "incident" will slow his career down that much. It will hopefully relegate it to the fringes where it belongs however. Those of us in decent society got rid of this way of thinking about 500 years ago.