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The MobTown Shank #250: Special Collector's Edition!

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  • Mobtown Shank
    THE MOBTOWN SHANK #250 Bulldog Pretty. Baltimore s free weekly interactive e-zine. All the stuff that s worth doing in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2, 2004
      THE MOBTOWN SHANK #250
      Bulldog Pretty.
      Baltimore's free weekly interactive e-zine.
      All the stuff that's worth doing in the Baltimore-Washington
      Metropolitan Area and beyond.
      For the week of 9/3 - 9/10
       
      I. ED. LETTER: 250th Issue Collector's Item
      II. AMERICAN STANDARD: Back To School
      III. QUESTION O' THE WEEK: Euro-Moon
      IV. MADAM 8-BALL: Delusions
      V. THE NEWS: What We Believe
      VI. FREAK O' THE WEEK: Brown Rubertape Pict. Collection 
      VII. MONEY WATCH: Army vs. Navy
      VIII. OVERHEARD: The Sad State Of Indy Film
      IX. LOOKING FOR WORK: Sara Lee, You Bitch
      X. RANDOM FACTOID: Death Of The American Dream
      XI. MY PET GOAT: Amazon Reviews  
      XII. FLIPPITY-FLOPPITY: Your Weekly Presidential Flip-Flop  
      XIII. WHAT THE FUCK: Tough To Be Colin
      XIV. CRITICAL MASS: Arrested At The RNC In NYC 
      XV. RANDOM FACTOID: McFatties!
      XVI. OFF THE HUFF: Ass Buffers 
      XVII: RANDOM FACTOID: Who Pays Our Lt. Gov?
      XVIII. GREAT AMERICAN SHOUT OUT: TONIGHT! 
      XIX. RANDOM FACTOID: Outsourcing CEOs
      XX. SHANK PLUG: The Love God?
      XXI. RANDOM FACTOID: Pay Balance
      XXII. DUMB SHIT ON eBAY: Great Real Estate Finds
      XXIII. RANDOM FACTOID: More "Fair And Balanced"
      XXIV: HAMPDENFEST SCHEDULE: Updated bands & times 
      XXV. THE SHANK: Bye-bye Atomic TV
      XXVI. THE SKAG: Lotsa Atomic Books Events!
      XXVII. FOCUS GROUPS: Can You Make MPT Better? 
      XXVIII. LINKS PEOPLE IM ME: Goths Go Disney!
      XXIX. SHANK CLASSIFIEDS: Last Chance for 2 Tickets To Liz...
       
      I. ED. LETTER===================================
       
      250TH ISSUE COLLECTOR'S ITEM
      Holy shit. The Shank has made it to 250 issues! That's almost a solid 5 years of Shankin'!
       
      Thank all of you for sticking with it for however long you've been on board. Thank you for sending it to your friends. Thank you for responding. Thank you for contributing. Thank you for reading. Or just for scrolling and deleting.
       
      It's come a long way from the weekend calendar I'd send out to friends (because I got tired of the "what's going on this weekend" questions) to what it is today.
       
      This week may be a little heavily political, and, believe it or not, I actually toned it down some. It was so hard, with the RNC in New York and all, there was so much possible material to weed through.
       
      I was hoping to balance it more with the regular columns, but if you notice, only one Shank columnist, Bill Kaufman, actually turned anything in. So that left it up to me the fill up the rest. And in case you couldn't tell, politics have been on my mind a lot lately.
       
      Hopefully, next week, after the holiday, things will get back to normal. Columnists will start columnizing, and I won't have a library's worth of political material to go through.
       
      Enjoy you Shank!
      -Benn Ray
       
      II. AMERICAN STANDARD===========================
      by Benn Ray
       
      BACK TO SCHOOL
      This semester, I started teaching at Towson University in addition to teaching at University of Baltimore. Where University of Baltimore is more of commuter college for Juniors and Seniors, Towson University is a more traditional college, with a large campus, dorms, a dining hall, a quad, A QUAD!, etc.
      It's been a while since I've been to a college-college.
      Last week, I had to go to Towson and get all my paperwork taken care of in order to be ready for classes this week. This happened to coincide with the same day that students were moving in to campus.
       
      WhenI was a Freshman, I was spared the embarrassment of having my parents with me. I moved into the dorm my Freshman year by myself. Actually, what I did was load up my car the day before move in, drive down to Virginia Beach (my first year of college I attended Virginia Wesleyan College on the Norfolk/Virginia Beach border) and rent a room in a motel on the highway near campus.
       
      I spent the night there alone and nervous. I remember talking to my high school girl friend on the phone in the motel room (she had decided to attend UMBC) and wondering how long our relationship would last (I think it made it a week).
       
      I had escaped Glen Burnie/Pasadena. I was free. But I never felt more alone.
       
      When I was on the Towson campus this past week, I had forgotten all that. I'd forgotten how much of an emotionally packed experience this is for Freshman and the parents of Freshmen, and it was unbelievably cute.
        
      There were over-sized SUVs, overloaded with more crap than a dorm room can hold, nervously navigating parking garages. You could tell that here, in the heart of Towson, this was as urban as many of these parents had gotten in years and it freaked them out.
       
      I could overhear parents talking, "As soon as we finished loading her in the room, she wanted us to leave," said one soccer mom to another.
       
      "Oh, mine was exactly the same way. It's like suddenly she's ashamed of us or something," she whined.
       
      I felt the urge to explain. I think because I was closer in age to some of the parents than I was to the students, I felt an uneasy compassion toward the parents. But I kept my mouth shut. After all, it was only age that I had in common with most of them.
      They were everywhere, awkard Freshmen, awkward parents, and you could taste the emotion in the air, the "our baby's going away to school, which brings us one step closer to death" vibe of the parents, and the "this is the first step to the rest of my life" naivety of the kids.
      I wanted to say to the students, "there are so many steps and falls to the rest of your life, this one is barely a baby step."
       
      But when I looked at them, all I could think was, "you are going to get blind drunk tonight and sleep with someone you will then spend the next 4 years hating."
      III. QUESTION O' THE WEEK====================
       
      EURO-MOON
      You have won a prize. The prize has two options, and you can choose either (but not both). The first option is a year in Europe with a monthly stipend of $2000. The second option is ten minutes on the moon.
      WHICH OPTION DO YOU SELECT? WHY?
       
      E-mail your responses to:
      MobTownShank@...
       
      Question of the week taken from Chuck Klosterman's collection of pop-culture noodling essays, SEX, DRUGS and COCOA PUFFS. http://www.atomicbooks.com/detail.php?catid=73&prodid=5693
       
      *********************************************************
      Prize for this week's best response is a copy of SHITFEVER's The Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad CD courtesy of Shitfever. http://www.atomicbooks.com/detail.php?catid=73&prodid=8688
      *********************************************************
       
      SHANK #249 QUESTION_______________________________
        
      For whatever reason, two unauthorized movies are made about your life. The fist is an independently released documentary, primarily comprised of interviews with people who know you and bootleg footage from your actual life. Critics are describing the documentary as "brutally honest and relentlessly fair." Meanwhile, Columbia Tri-Star has produced a big-budget biopic of your life, casting major Hollywood stars as you and all your acquaintances; though the movie is based on actual events, screenwriters have taken liberties with the facts. Critics are split on the artistic merits, but audiences love it.
      WHICH FILM WOULD YOU BE THE MOST INTERESTED IN SEEING? WHY?
       
      Question of the week taken from Chuck Klosterman's collection of pop-culture noodling essays, SEX, DRUGS and COCOA PUFFS. http://www.atomicbooks.com/detail.php?catid=73&prodid=5693
       
      Tristar, definitely. Not the indie. For three reasons:
      1. Spago, yes; Sundance, no.
      2. So Mom can see it at the Crossroads 12 in Saint Cloud instead of driving all the way to the Uptown in Minneapolis.
      3. To hear Jason Bateman refer to me as, "A brave, beautiful human being," when he accepts the Oscar for portraying me.
      -John Nick
      Although people say life is too short to drink cheap wine and make other witty comments related to being choosy about what you do with your time, I gotta say I’m confident I could make time to see both and be equally interested. 
      Imagine you parented a child who ended up being somewhat stupid but was attractive and popular and also parented a smart, gifted child that nobody wanted to hang out with for some reason.  Wouldn’t you want to maintain an equally good relationship with both of them, being that both were the product of your nature and nurture?
      Unless the attractive & popular child gave you a lot of shitty hollywood attitude all the time...then you could try to get rich by writing a book about how the other kid was the real talent and that the famous one was just a steaming pile of prefab crap...that you regretted spawning in the first place.
      -David Andler
       
      The Columbia Tri-Star version. Because 1) I'd love to see which major Hollywood stars they'd cast and 2) I'd love to see how on earth they'd make it interesting.
      -Andrea Force
       
      Definitely the documentary. Because I've always wanted to hear what the people around me honestly think of me when I'm sober enough to remember. But dag, that's going to be one boring-ass movie, unless they include all the footage of my attempt to assassinate the Dalai Lama, and I thought I'd burned all that.
      -Hannah Feldman
       
      The Columbia/TriStar film, of course,and for three reasons:
      1. Regardless of which Olson twin plays me, she's sure to reveal heretofore unexplored depth of my character.
      2. To see how they handle the scene where I run into Rob Schneider in a North Beach coffeeshop and ask him to move his chair so I can get to the bathroom.
      3. So that when the credits roll I can lean over to Harvey Weinstein and say, "You were right, Harv. I really am a gorgeous yet demonic genius. Let's get Joe Ezsterhaus to write the sequel, too."
      -Rahne Alexander

      The Columbia Tri-Star blockbuster, because Al Pacino would play my dad and Sally Field would play my mom and I think those stars would have interesting chemistry.
      -Lynda Del Genis
       
      I'd rather see the documentary w/ friend's comments and the bootleg footage. I would love to see what people have filmed me doing without my knowledge. Besides, actors you can see in ANY movie; me you can only see in one low budget flick I was tricked into making in the name of "art" in college.
       -Linda Kaufman
       
      I got enough reality, gimmie some fucking fantasy 'cos my buzz is wearing off. 
      -Greg Beshers
       
      Of course I'd see the Hollywood movie. The whole truth is way too boring to sit through.
      -Kara Mae
       
      The Hollywood version just to see the distortions. I usually couldn't give a crap what people think of me. I am tenuously awaiting the film of "Motorcycle Diaries". I knew Che was Hollywood all along...
      -Brian Edward Rise
        
      I would definitely have to see both, repeatedly. I'm that fascinated with myself.  I would probably want to see the one with the worse portrayal of myself. I'd consider it torture if I didn't see it as soon as possible. I'd probably need to be strapped to the theater seat with bungie-cord to watch it all the way through, but, that would definitely have to be the one I saw.
      -Steve Messick
       
      Neither, not even on DVD. Why would I be interested in the first and likely only film from a couple of obviously D-list directors scraping the flat bottom of the idea barrell? I think the only way that the subject could be more uninteresting is if they cast me in it.
      -Steve Ashby
       
      Hands down documentary. While it would be ridonkulously interesting to see my life as played out with Halle Berry starring as me, and Johnny Depp starring as my love interest ("I just want you to make me FEEL GOOD!"), I think it would be more educational to hear what my friends have to say about me behind my back. You know, in case I have to lay the smackdown or anything. Bitches.
      That is of course, on the off chance.  Because I totally rock. So either would be entertaining, really.
      -Charlie Stewart
       
      The one about the fist. Because.
      -Chet
      ***RESPONSE OF THE WEEK WINNER***
      Congratulations, Chet. You've won a copy of SHITFEVER's The Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad CD courtesy of Shitfever. Swing by Atomic Books any time in the next week to pick up your copy.
       
      GENERAL FEEDBACK: SHANK #249____________________
       
      MID-WIFI?
      Anyone know a service provider for wifi (for home) that reaches to Hampden?
      -Violet Carberry
       
      NEW NEW NEW FROM HELL
      "[blank] is the new [blank]" is the new "[noun] from hell"
      -John Nick

      HE CALLS HIMSELF GRUMPY
      Your questions are to long to read as of late.
      -El Grumpo
      TYPICAL RESPONSE FROM A TYPICAL SUBURBANITE
      Your City? Sure Benn, I work in the city, I live in the County and I have a backyard. Do you know what I do every night? I have a party in my backyard, me and all my backyard-owning county-dwelling neighbors. We all laugh at how much of a bunch of suckers everyone who lives in the city is.
      Our Taxes are cheaper, schools are better, and the water bills are at least a third of what they are in the city! 
      Sometimes we get to laughing so hard about it, that it seems to take us forever to bury all the jars of money that we drain from city folk like yourself.
      You're more than welcome to kick up a fuss about it, or just sit there passively, just so long as you keep pumping that blood like a good lil' host!
      -Steve Messick
      LAST WEEK'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK
      YOU, were drinking the Makers Mark, not the stranger, lets all try and read the question...
      and who says the aquaintance (especially, soft spoken) is a HE? sorry i'm having grammer issues (thanks, Kristen King)
      -Amy O
      RESPONSE TO A RANDOM QUESTION
      Keep toying with that word, dear. One day, you'll learn the sheer joy of drinking ALL the beer you brought to your friend's house. Upon accomplishment, you'll break into the second friend's house, drink all of their stash, plus, steal their bottle of Popov vodka for the drive home.
      -Roy Fisher, Jr.
      ELIJAH'S CUMMINGS
      Hey, no fair... the only person I was trying to defend was Elijah Cummings, whose words were twisted by Moon. The Roscoe Bartlett quote was intended to show how dumb he is. I think he went on to explain in the article that he thought it was the equivalent of being crowned king of a 4-H fair.
      1. To hold an event in the Dirksen Senate Building, you have to be approved by a senator. No one will own up to signing on the dotted line, but John Warner (R-VA) played a leading role in making it happen. He did not actually go to the ceremony, however.
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19-2004Jul20.html
      2. Most of the representatives named in Gorenfeld's article say they left before the coronation. But who knows what really happened? No one from the media was there except the Washington Times, which is owned by Moon.
      -Chris Klimas
       
      IV. MADAM 8-BALL'S HOROSCOPE=============
       
      ARE YOU ENTITLED TO YOUR DELUSIONS?
       

      AQUARIUS: Concentrate and ask again.

      PISCES: Reply hazy, try again.

      ARIES: It is decidedly so.

      TAURUS: Yes.

      GEMINI: Better not tell you now.

      CANCER: Better not tell you now.

      LEO: Reply hazy, try again.

      VIRGO: Signs point to yes.

      LIBRA: Concentrate and ask again.

      SCORPIO: As I see it, yes.

      SAGITTARIUS: Yes.

      CAPRICORN: Most likely.

       

      V. THE NEWS================================

      by Lara Mackey
       
      Repetitious lies are the new truth.
       

      VI. FREAK OF THE WEEK====================== 

      by Miss Sarah
        
      BROWN RUBERTAPE PICTURE COLLECTION
      http://grogore.free.fr/ruber/rubbyset.html
      This site's owner (a Japanese musician living in France) collects pictures featuring "rubertape," a.k.a. acrylic sealing tape, used in many and various situations. She just likes "rubertape" a lot, apparently. It's kind of like a duct tape obsession (see: http://www.ducttapefashion.com/ ) except you can't really make clothing out of sealing tape.  Well, I guess you could, but, OUCH.
       
      Do you have any suggestions for a Freak O' The Week? If so, send them here: pokemama@...
       
      VII. MONEY WATCH===========================
      by Citizen Shank
       
      Each week, leading up to the General Elections, we'll take a look at various Marylanders of note, and see who they support in the most vital of ways, by giving them money.
       
      ARMY VS. NAVY
      Brenda Gilmore, US Navy.
      Donated $250 to John Kerry
        
      Mr. Matthew Hagen. Manager, American Woold Molding
      Donated $15,025 to The Republican National Committee.
       
      Mrs. Tanya T. Monk, US Army.
      Donated $200 to George W. Bush
       
      Mr. James F. Roberts. President & CEO, R.A.G. American Coal Holding
      Donated $2,000 to George W. Bush.
       
      Ellsworth Welton. Scientist, NASA.
      Donated $50 to John Kerry
       
      You too can see what your neighbors and friends are donating and to whom by going to www.fundrace.org. 
       
      VIII. OVERHEARD=====================
       
      THE SAD STATE OF INDY FILM...
      by Kevin Moreno

      SCENE:
      The hallway of the Charles Theatre.
      PLAYERS: Precocious white teen hipster with afro, and his friends.
       
      PWTHWA: ...I know! It's like with 'Mean Girls,' man. Tina Fey had a great idea, then the studios got a hold of it and bastardized it into oblivion...
       
      Email your Overheards (using this format) to: Mobtownshank@...
         
      IX. LOOKING FOR WORK===================
      by Shank Human Resources Dept.
       
      Still suffering from the 90's Bubble Burst Hangover? Wondering were all the jobs are in this new economy? Each week we'll take an alphabetical look at the ever-growing list of American corporations who are either sending American jobs overseas, or  are choosing cheap overseas labor instead of utilizing American workers.
       
      SARA LEE, YOU BITCH!
      Safeway
      Sallie Mae
      Samsonite
      Sara Lee
      Snap-on, Inc.
      Sprint
      Starkist Seafood
      State Farm Insurance
      SunTrust Banks
      Sweetheart Cup Co.
       
      This is not a complete list of companies exporting jobs, in fact, this isn't even a complete list of the letter selected this week. Want to see a more complete and updated list of companies?
       
       
      X. RANDOM FACTOID===================
       
      DEATH OF THE AMERICAN DREAM
      1 out of 3 Americans no longer believe they can move beyond their economic class. This is an all-time low in American history.

      Source: NPR
       
      XI. MY PET GOAT REVIEWS==============
      by Benn Ray
       
      AMAZON REVIEWS
      So, some of you may be familiar with the MY PET GOAT controversy. Back on September 11, 2001, when George W. Bush was informed that planes were flying into buildings in New York, he was visiting a group of school children. He's been criticized for getting a blank stare and sitting there reading the book MY PET GOAT for over 7 minutes instead of, well, instead of doing something, anything Presidential. Part of this footage was used to disturbing effect in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 (so I've heard. I've not seen the film.), garnerning Moore much hatred from Bush followers.
       
      The thing is, MY PET GOAT is available on Amazon, where one can post their own reviews. Here is a collection of reviews of the book that had Mr. Bush transfixed for 7 minutes while our country was under attack.
       
       ------------------------------------------------------------------
      I couldn't put this book down when it was readed to me!
      -K. DauSchmidt "George W. Bush" (Wershington, D. C.), August 21, 2004
      11 of 12 people found the following review helpful. 5 out of 5 stars Captivatilizing!
       
      Was there a pet goat? Sure - we can say it was there. Can we say the book held a grown man's attention during a time of crisis? Who's to say - could be - it's possible. Will the pet goat chew a can? Sure,why not - it's a goat right? Is the book good enough to hold the average 7 year-old's attention? It's been known to. Do we know for certain? We don't know. You're going to be told lots of things about a this pet goat. It's going to be printed and repeated. Are these things true about the pet goat? We know that they are being printed and that they are being repeated. Yes they are true.
      -M. Jones "Fancy Pants" (Seattle), August 19, 2004
      1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. 2 out of 5 stars.

      While my country was under attack, this book had me hypnotized.
      -George W. (Washington, DC, USA), August 5, 2004
      317 of 320 people found the following review helpful. 5 out of 5 stars! I SPENT 7 MINUTES READING IT!
       
      My three year old son was completely engrossed in this book. He just loves goats. However, partway through the book, my wife came in to whisper something in his ear. He waited 7 seconds, turned to me and said: "Daddy, I need to go do what three year olds need to do. I'll be back as soon as I can, but you keep on reading." He left, and I finished the story. I then wept for seven minutes. It was quite a moving story.
      -Sophiedog (Camarillo, CA), August 19, 2004
      5 out of 5 stars! A wonderful read for goat-lovers of all ages.
        
      I was enthralled with the plot, so much so that I couldn't put the book down, even 7 minutes after I had been given the most horrific news of my life.
      -P. D. Elliot (USA), August 18, 2004
      24 of 25 people found the following review helpful. 5 out of 5 stars! Presidential Material for sure!
       
      This book mezmorized me for seven minutes. I had just been in an accident and happend to have the book in the car. While I sat there bleeding to death and waiting for the EMTs, I couldn't put the book down. I felt my face go numb and expressionless. After seven minutes, I realized my medical situation was a little more important than the book, but for seven minutes I was just clueless. Highly recommended.
      -Rob J. Watson, August 18, 2004
      26 of 27 people found the following review helpful. 5 out of 5 stars Mezmorizing - for seven minutes!
       
      I love pet goats. They fascinate me. Reading about pet goats capture my imagination so much that it takes me at least seven minutes to get my bearings again.
      -L. Meissner Jr. (California USA), July 29, 2004
      43 of 44 people found the following review helpful. 5 out of 5 stars! I love pet goats!
       
      This collection of stories will captivate children of all ages. Such stories as "My Pet Goat" rivet the attention of the reader while reinforcing basic literacy skills. The stories have been fully reviewed for suitable content and contain no references to the terrifying reality of rising poverty and unemployment, urban crime and overcrowded prisons, a major health crisis, or the skyrocketing national debt. Instead, these heart-warming stories focus on what is still good about America, or at least about the few small farms that have not yet gone under.
      While Storybook 2 may not have been proven effective through rigorous scientific research, it has been tested by the highest levels of the federal government. Purchase of this reader could help your students achieve academic proficiency in a fully accountable manner. I recommend it for charter schools in particular, or for any school district that still receives adequate funding. Other districts, of course, will be busy instead making dramatic changes to the way their schools are run. Educators, remember that purchase of this title will help to leave no corporation behind in our government's effort to bolster big business!
      -W. Sloan "Bill" (Boston), August 31, 2004.
      12 of 15 people found the following review helpful. 5 out of 5 stars! Fit to Read! 
       

      What a hypocritical bunch you democrats are! One minute you're all like "oooh, oooh, education is so important. We need better schools and better educated teachers" and the next minute you're all like "why is the president wasting time reading to children while our country is under attack?"
      What kind of man do you think Mr. Bush is? Some kind of "war president"? Some two-fisted man of action? Of course not. He's an educator at heart, a real scholar who believes that the children are the future of this country. That's why we elected him. Sure, he might not have a teaching certificate, but he's got an MBA and that's one better. Besides, half the teachers in California don't have certificates either and look at how great they're doing. I can honestly say that I believe Mr. Bush was doing all that he could for his country by helping the wee children stumble through a gripping tale of a goat. Besides, Bush was next in line for his show-and-tell presentation. The kids were going to help him sound out the big words in his Daily Briefing.
      But don't take my word for it.
      -Harris Elleberg (Astoria, NY), August 31, 2004
      9 of 22 people found the following review helpful. 5 out of 5 stars! What was Bush to do? Leave the children behind? 
       
      If you are a Democrat and you had read this book to children, you would have no problem traumatizing the s*** out of them while jumping into your plane to rescue all the poor people in the twin towers! Any action, no matter how hasty or stupid is better than waiting to assess the facts. Let us all be thankful that we have our Leaders to email us our talking points, because our brains hurt when we have to think original thoughts. And be thankful for our wonderful Father Moore, who can tell us what really happened in the world. And remember children, Father Moore never lies and never makes mistakes, not even 45 of them in one movie. Republicans are EVIL. Democrats are GOOD. And pet goats can be great fun, especially if you are a lonely democrat, and you have no one to play with.
      -Mr. Wizard (Rivendell, Middle Earth), August 31, 2004
      10 of 19 people found the following review helpful. 5 out of 5 stars! Kerry would have saved the day! 
         
      This book is so engaging you will find yourself transfixed. The story of the pet goat was so interesting I must have stared at it for about seven minutes. Warning: If you are a president and your country is under attack, do not read this book.
      -Lisa Pease "Guerrilla Informationist" (Los Angeles), August 28, 2004
      30 of 36 people found the following review helpful. 5 out of 5 stars! You'll be transfixed! 
       
      XII. FLIPPITY-FLOPPITY=================
      by Benn Ray
       
      Sorry, I'm one of those people who think one should have enough shame to not accuse others of the same things they are guilty of. So, up until Nov. elections, we've replaced one of our RANDOM FACTOID slots with this new Flippity-Floppity section. Just so you don't say, "Oh no, not more political stuff." You're getting the same amount. I've just changed a section name and focus.
       
      YOUR WEEKLY PRESIDENTIAL FLIP-FLOP
      "We can win the war on terrorism but its not going to be easy or quick."
      -George W. Bush, Feb. 2004
       
      “I don’t think you can win” [the War on Terror].
      -George W. Bush, earlier this week on NBC's TODAY SHOW, Aug. 31, 2004
       
      "We meet today at a time of war for our country. A war we did not start, yet one that we will win."
      -George W. Bush, later this week at the American Legion annual convention, Sept. 1, 2004
       
        
      Sources: ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo News, Center For American Progress
       
      XIII. WHAT THE FUCK OF THE WEEK==============
      by Benn Ray
       
      TOUGH TO BE COLIN
      "I am angry that so many sons of the powerful and well-placed ... managed to wrangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units."
      -Colin Powell* on The Vietnam War in MY AMERICAN JOURNEY
       
      *Colin Powell is the Secretary of State in George W. Bush's Administration. George W. Bush is the son of the powerfull and well-placed who managed to wrangle a slot in the National Guard (and then go AWOL).
       
      XIV. CRITICAL MASS======================
      by Joseph Grey/Maringy
       
      ARRESTED AT THE RNC IN NYC
      My friend Marigny lives in New York City. She was part of the Critical Mass bike ride to protest the Republican National Convention. This is her account of her arrest and incarceration for what was, by most accounts, a peaceful protest of the RNC. Take a minute to read this and think about the scary times we are living in right now.
       
      Wanna see what the Police arrest of the protest looks like? Follow this link:
       
      The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads as follows:
      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
      ------------------

      Now, with some rest and blessed coffee in hand I can try to condense my 28 hours of cuff to incarceration hell into one still quite lengthy yet digestible summary.
       
      First of all, I had no idea the police had it out for us so much since Critical Mass on Friday. We were a major target, a 'splinter group' and they apparently had undercover cops and helicopters on our case. Who knew? It was going to be a totally peaceful and chill ride to and with the legal protest march. Just 20 minutes into it is when shit got hairy.
       
      On 6th Ave undercover cops on scooters sped through and around us to form a tire-to-tire block at the intersection ahead. With bikers shouting things like "Keep cool ... just keep going ... break up and reconvene..." it seemed more like the cops were trying to keep us away instead of trying to trap us.
       
      I saw one cop knock a biker down with the tire of his scooter. The adrenaline was rising and the emergency of the situation was getting serious fast. So, we turned up 37th St. and were soon met by cop cars screeching to block 7th Ave.
       
      We jumped off our bikes and tried to calmly walk them onto the sidewalk and just disperse but this was no longer an option. The orange nets went up around us and cops aggressively pushed some folks down onto their bikes creating a bit of a domino effect.
       
      Before you knew it, we were swarmed with SO many cops, everyone was being cuffed and there was no negotiating. This was at around 12:30PM. We layed on the ground for an hour or 2, they bagged our stuff, photographed us with our bikes and arresting officer, then herded us onto an MTA buss to sit for about 3 hours. Mind you, I was in plastic cuffs (FAR more painful than the metal ones -I still have a bruised and swollen wrist) for 7 FUCKING HOURS.
       
      Some crazy exchanges happened on the bus with cops and tightening of cuffs and so on. There was a bit of solidarity with us when we'd sing songs like "I fought the law and the law won.." (The Clash).
       
      The most annoying of my fellow convicts was this older Mia Farrow doppelganger who I had to spend way too much time with, as she was one of the 5 arrested by my officer. From when we took our first of many photos she went on worriedly about how she was just passing by with her bike and had nothing to do w it. Once everything calmed, she was so eager to give her name to every member of the press and all the Lawyers Guild observers. She then was the first to pipe up singing bloody "Kumbaya" or "Down By the Riverside" and be the ultimate proud protester! Her tune later changed to having been participating for the last 3 blocks. She wouldn't have become such a nemesis if she had shut the hell up for more than 2 seconds the whole damn time. Just the sight of her pissed me off.
       
      Anyway, after about 3 hours on the bus, we went to the makeshift holding jail at a bus depot on a pier. While waiting about 2 hours in line to be searched and all (BTW, our rights were never read to us), we became aquatinted with the 2 other groups of arrestees: the Kiss-a-thon Kids (20somthing year old gay punks who were making out in Times Square for gay rights and against the RNC - arrested for totally harmless kissing!) and innocent passersby (SO many folks on their way to the subway after the protest or who were just in the crowd watching others being arrested who were swooped into the infamous nets and carted off -the cops were on a rampage to just take in anyone). One Polish woman in her 40s who clearly didn't fit with the rest of us hoodlums was just riding her bike to her office and got nabbed.
       
      So, we laid around in motor oil, soot, and exhaust dust that had probably been accumulating since the 70s for HOURS. So gross! We were fed our first round of the infamous stale bologna sandwiches which, trust me, jail bologna is a far different animal, er, animalS, from the bologna we are familiar with. I traded stories with girls (one girl had her arm in a sling from being beat with a club - she and her friend were just watching some folks get arrested and they got wrangled into The Net also - she tried to crawl over The Net and got beat) but tended to keep to myself and just be a stoic.
         
      One annoying thing was watching many of the younger girls have such a ball being incarcerated. They sang showtunes, choreographed dances, and were just having a good ol' time of it. Some were even playing "Spin the Tampon" (a classic!). Somehow their reveling and cheerleader attitude felt like it was negating the unfortunate and awful position we were all in and was offensive. Their mood changed when around 2AM we were carted off to the corrections facility downtown. The situation became more severe and caused them to eventually become jaded, frayed, and desperate. After HOURS being shifted through countless holding cells (and some makeshift ones like the hallway where prisoners meet with lawyers and family behind a fence like in the movies - a bunch of us were crammed in there since the jails were packed), taking photos, having prints being taken (fascinating process, actually), we finally were able to make calls (22 hours after arrest!).
       
      Sitting. Waiting. WAITING. I was able to dose off for a total of probably 2 hours, but each time I'd come to I was met by sensations of helplessness, hopelessness, and claustrophobia. I started having feelings of losing my shit around the 26th hour. There were no signs of getting out any time soon and me and another bike girl were the last of the first arrested to be let out. Many others left but not us. All became rather desperate and fucking MISERABLE. I fought the desire to cry and just tried to keep cool.
       
      Once, finally in the cell to meet a lawyer in the bloody 28th hour, the public defense attorney was such a mean bitch nightmare (realize she was the first incarnation of any hope of freedom) that I declined her help for a volunteer lawyer (they had a huge organization of folks set up just for us - amazingly supportive, actually). Soon my name was called and I found myself with my charges being read in front of a judge and some guy was like, "My name is... Nice to meet you. How do you want to plead?"
       
      What the hell?!!! I was taken aback. This was my lawyer and there was NO council. Mad. I just pleaded not guilty and got the hell out of there. I was assigned another court date and was so flabbergasted by the situation and exhausted I don't even remember my charges. I talked with him for a moment after and was so overwhelmed to be FINALLY free I fought back the tears.
       
      It's hard to articulate how desperate the situation felt after 28 waking hours of hell. We were told SO much conflicting info about when we'd get out... 1AM, in a couple of hours, 8 hours to process your prints, 7AM, 9AM, oh, the judges are on their lunch break...
       
      Once out there was a crew of volunteer folks with coffee and flowers there to support us -really great. I waited in line for another hour+ to get my bag back, so happy to be able to see higher than 3 feet above my head and feel a breeze again.
       
      I have never felt so disgusting in my life as after those 28 hours. It feels SO good to be free but it is strange how the whole hellish experience seems like some phantom experience now that I'm back with the familiar.
       
      I guess that's the recuperative nature of the mind.
       
      XV. RANDOM FACTOID===================
       
      MCFATTIES!
      65% of Americans are overweight.
      31% of Americans are obese.
       
      Source: AMA
       
      XVI. OFF THE HUFF===============================
      by Scott Huffines
       
      In which Scott gives us an update about the flatulent woman in his office.
       
      ASS BUFFERS
      I've been in a pissy work mood lately... she sat next to me in a meeting today with a large group of people and I didn't even acknowledge her presence. She's like Underdog Lady, I can only take her in small doses. I promise to get back on the ball. There is a man at work who buffs his ass in the stall, anytime I go to pee and I see his shoes you can hear him furiously wiping his ass, it sounds like he's sanding wood!
       
      XVII. RANDOM FACTOID===================
       
      WHO PAYS OUR LT. GOVERNOR?
      Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele recently addressed the Republican National Convention. Was he also being paid to be a Republican?
       
      "The Maryland Republican Party is paying Michael S. Steele $5,000 a month in consulting fees under an arrangement that began shortly after his selection as gubernatorial candidate Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s running mate."
      -The Baltimore Sun, August 27, 2002
        
      XVIII. GREAT AMERICAN SHOUT OUT==========
       
      TONIGHT!
      On September 2nd, 2004, at approximately 10 pm, George W. Bush will appear on television screens nationwide. For some of our fellow citizens, this will be a moment of joy. But for most of us, it will be the low point of an incredibly exasperating week.
       
      Until now, there have been only two options: miss the speech (either by screaming at the television or turning it off), or bottle up the frustration within us, causing irreparable psychological harm. The first option is unbecoming of citizens in a democracy. The second option is just terrible. But now, for the first time, we have a better way. At the moment we see the president on our television screens, we will rise. We will throw open our windows. And, as George W. Bush moves to the podium in New York City, we will send him a message about his bid for reelection: we will yell, "fuggedaboudit!"
       
      This will be a peaceful, non-disruptive protest. We will stop yelling before the president starts speaking. Our goal is not to drown him out, but to communicate. (And vent.)
       
      We will do it in groups. Find an event, or if you can't find one, plan your own. You can also sign up to shout solo. If "fuggedaboudit" doesn't feel right-for example, if you aren't in New York City-we urge you to customize your shout. But no obscenities. You'll be addressing the president of the United States. And we will be broadcasting the shout-outs live, from several locations, on Air America Radio.
       
      For more details, or to organize or find a party in your neck of the woods, visit the website www.thegreatamericanshoutout.org.
       
      XIX. RANDOM FACTOID=============
       
      OUTSOURCING CEOS
      At the top 50 companies that are responsible for outsourcing the most American jobs, Executive pay increased 43%, and CEO pay increased 9%. Regular workers only got a 2% boost in pay.

      The average pay for these outsourcing chief executives was $10.4 million last year, which is 28% above the pay received by CEOs of companies not outsourcing American jobs ($8.1 million a year).
        
      Source: Institute for Policy Studies
       
      XX. SHANK PLUG==========================
       
      ONE NATION UNDER THE LOVE GOD?
      MoveOnPAC.org party of the month!
       
      In an effort to raise money for the cause, Baltimore’s least organized are attempting to throw a MoveOnPAC.org fundraiser at the Bengie’s Drive-In on Sunday, Sept. 12th.
       
      !El Suprimo! and ?El Kabong? will start dropping needles on the records at five bells. That’s right, we’re starting early so bring your frisbee and your water rockets.
       
      Around twilight  the trailers will roll, featuring drive-in classics in the tradition of  Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, Vanishing Point and Two Lane Blacktop.
       
      At Nine the debate will begin as to whether The Love God? is the greatest Don Knotts film ever made. Even though we know everyone has seen it ad nauseum, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to see Don live out his Hugh Hefner fantasies on the big screen while fighting for the First Amendment. Wear something swanky.
       
      Afterwards the screen will go ‘blue’, so Scott Huffines can enjoy larger than life breasts on the biggest screen on the East Coast.
       
      Ten bucks will get you in. The Natty Boh and hotdogs will be reasonably priced. Plus lots more money raising gimmicks we haven’t even thought of yet.
       
      Check out PiratesofEssex.com for more details. Tickets available at Atomic Books, !El Suprimo! Records, and other locations tba.
       
      (MoveOnPAC.org is a grassroots group whose goals include getting out the vote & giving we the people a greater voice in the political process. Check 'em out for more info.)
         
      XXI. RANDOM FACTOID===================
       
      PAY BALANCE?
      CEO pay is 301 times higher than the pay of the average American production worker (who makes $26,899).
       
      Source: Institute for Policy Studies
       
      XXII. DUMB SHIT BILL LOOKS FOR ON eBAY===========
      by Bill Kaufman
       
      GREAT REAL ESTATE FINDS
      No time for intros, we’ve got another hurricane coming right towards us. But next week, if Florida still exists and it’s not underwater or under threat from Godzilla or some other natural disaster I promise to write something in this space. But most likely I’ll just eat a sausage and come up with some other lame excuse.
       
       
       
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