Thursday, April 30, 2009

You're gonna love Credit Card Camp!

All those birthday, anniversary, wedding and Christmas gifts. All those groceries. All those fill-ups at the gas station. Not everyone was in credit card camp because they'd gone on shopping binges at a furniture or electronics store. No, there were plenty of people interned at Visa, MasterCard and American Express Camp whose spending had centered on the bare essentials of daily living. But debt was debt and the first wave of debtors' prisons were opened in 2010, and filled to overflowing as quickly as the boxcars could deliver them from around the country.

"Trickle-up economics?" Rush Limbaugh intoned, as though pronouncing the words venereal disease. "Trickle-up economics? Gimme a break! How does an unemployed person stimulate the economy? How does a homeless person expand city or state tax revenue? No, no, no. Barack Obama is just trying to create class warfare -- stir up resentment toward the upper class among the poor and working class."

The contingent of "pro greed" politicians in Washington -- a frightening number existing in both parties -- put a gun to the Obama administration's head: If you're going to pour "stimulus dollars" into the economy, it's time to hold careless home owners and credit card holders accountable. Hence the "Debt as Theft" Bill passing both houses.

As per usual, corporate executives were exempt from the Debt as Theft legislation because the bail-out money that paid them millions upon millions of dollars in bonuses and compensation was not considered debt. The single mom in Akron, Ohio who was paying for daycare, groceries, and fuel for her car on a series of credit cards was criminalized overnight. Her crime was compounded when the rate on her variable rate mortgage reset.

There was no way to house the hundreds of thousands of newly branded criminals in conventional jails and prisons, nor much desire to do so. And just because most politicians were anti-middle-class didn't mean they sought to break up families. So, a plan was taken off the shelf from the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney/John Ashcroft administration to finally make use of all of those FEMA camps dotting the country. Covert photographs of these camps had been showing up on the Internet for years, accompanied by the most paranoid and cynical conjecture as to the future uses of those camps.

The switch was flipped and every citizen who had more than $30,000 in outstanding debts suddenly became a felon. Rather than being charged with a crime, each newly minted felon was given the opportunity to "work off" their debt in their area of expertise.

There was Visa Camp, MasterCard Camp, American Express Retreat, Bank of America "Get back on your feet!" Camp, Countrywide Country Camp, etc..

Interned accountants worked on their debtors' books.

Interned carpenters and contractors worked on job sites for their debtors, building summer and winter homes right across the country for all of those exempt executives.

The more proficient of Interned medical staff worked as personal physicians and caregivers to the expansive executive staffs of their debtors. The less able among the Interned medical staff worked in internment camp medical tents.

Interned filmmakers, writers, directors, producers and production staff were enlisted to make corporate training films, PR pieces and commercials for their debtors.

The most capable and attractive of Interned chefs, cooks, waiters and bartenders were assigned to their debtors' executive dining rooms, and even worked as catering staff for executive dinners, parties and award ceremonies -- those bonuses, kudos, slaps-on-the-back and unearned vacations still had to be given out! The other cooks, waiters and food industry internees worked in their camp mess halls.

Interned daycare workers looked at children in their respective camps.

Interestingly enough -- and to the great disappointment to the sweaty, eel-eyed executives -- a noticeable dearth of sex workers was interned. There was, however, quite a glut of pornographers, particularly dinosaur-old-school-print pornographers. Nobody could figure out what to do with them, so they were given brooms and told the sweep the place up.

When Visa Camp found that it would fall short on a payment to one of its debtors -- a re-insurance outfit centered in South Africa, the name of which had never been mentioned on the North American airwaves -- Visa struck a deal in which they lent a thousand accounting, legal and medical internees to the re-insurer.

There came a point when Bank of America was going to default on its debt to a foreign re-insurer of re-insurance firms. It transferred a thousand daycare worker internees, along with five hundred chefs and mixologists.

The system of paying off corporate debt with bundles of human beings was a surprisingly efficient and effective way of debt-management. Corporate executives -- meeting at Bohemian Grove, and other such private retreats where the laundry lists of "undesirable" colors, creeds, gender, sexual orientation, were nearly as numerous as their actual membership lists -- spoke with wonder and retroactive frustration that such a system hadn't been established decades ago.

"When the Chinese banks and Hong Kong Stock Exchange start clamoring for repayment," said one eel-eyed, cadaverous executive, "I just transfer a thousand filmmakers, or agri-engineers, or under-aged teenaged kids, and boom! It's done! No write-downs, no second set of books, nothing. Our hit team of accountants hates this because their losing their chops for hiding, obscuring and obfuscating."

"Tough shit, I say!" bellowed a portly, eel-eyed executive.

The roomful of khaki-trousered, salmon-colored-golf-shirt-eel-eyed executives laughed uproariously.

As with all great events in history -- pandemics, wars, droughts -- the debtors began trickling out of Visa Camp and MasterCard camp. The good news was that each of them was free of debt. The bad news was that each of them was homeless, jobless and penniless. So, meeting each new releasee at the gate of these respective camps were representatives from Visa and MasterCard, Bank of America, Fanny Mae, Countrywide, GMAC Financing, all with offers and applications for lines of credit, cheap variable rate mortgages, and super deals on new vehicles.

"That's the great thing about the capitalist system," Rush Limbaugh intoned one afternoon on his radio program, "the Great American Entrepreneur can find an opportunity anywhere! Even among these former losers who are now looking to put their lives back together!"

Political leaders were pleased to see private enterprise accepting these former cast-outs. "We wanna make sure that there are no more debtors prisons!" Congressman Barney Frank lisped. "We're glad to see these companies meeting their social obligation and bringing these citizens back into the fold, so that this mess is not repeated again!" & the IT Holy Grail

The elusive Holy Grail of the past two decade's tech boom has been telecommuting - working from home, mind-melding over networks, away from traffic jams, cubicles, and the overbearing glare of fluorescent lights and micro-managing bosses.

Enter, one of the most comprehensive Web sites for freelancers looking to obtain that Holy Grail.

The "o" in oDesk stands for "outsource." promotes itself as "The Marketplace for Online Workteams." It's a world divided between "providers," freelances of all stripes who promote their skills and apply for jobs, and "buyers," who buy the services of the freelancers.

Read the whole article

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Golf in the Afternoon

Metric/emotional score-keeping in golf. The way of the future.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pryvett Rawgers and the Tongs & Hammer Dinner

Every third Monday of the month, without fail, a dreary little man stood at the perimeter of the Package Handling Company, International, parking lot handing out a mimeographed bulletin called The Tongs & Hammer. The bulletin proclaimed in the top left-hand corner that it was an international "workers" publication. There was a mix of union and non-unionized workers at PHC. Pryvett Rawgers was among the non-unionized number. Still, he occasionally took The Tongs & Hammer, if only for a sparse laugh he'd enjoy later on while reading it on the toilet.

International? Pryvett thought the first time he accepted the orange-page bulletin -- printed front and back -- from the little man. Probably claims it's "international" cuz he mails a copy to his Unkle Volkov in New Jackoffistan.

Some of the other guys who took it called it The Yawns & Stammer. To Pryvett's eye, there seemed no reason for the little man to print any editions of the T & H beyond the first because every single issue was identical -- one barely-literate screed after another about how "the working man" was being perpetually screwed by the universe at large. An article railing against credit card companies argued that workers' credit card balances had nothing to do with their spending habits. Another rant, riddled with exclamation points, groused about how workers should be given a clothing allowance on top of their wages because they had graduations and funerals and weddings to attend in the course of their lives. It was the chasm-wide leaps in logic that kept Pryvett Rawgers a dedicated reader. That, and he was a sucker for train wrecks.

One morning, as he pulled up to the PHC parking lot, Pryvett saw that the dreary little man's sign was different. The plastic binder sleeve he wore on his chest usually held a printed page announcing The New Tongs & Hammer is Here!!! That morning, it read Tongs & Hammer Dinner Tickets for Sale!!!

Pryvett stopped and rolled down his window. "What's The Tongs & Hammer dinner? I thought you were its entire editorial and administrative staff."

"Oh no," the little man said. "It's an international brotherhood of workers."

"When's the dinner?"

"On the nineteenth." Two weeks hence.

Mulling the idea that there might be more dreary little men similar to this one, and imagining them all gathered in one room for a "dinner", Pryvett Rawgers calculated its train-wreck-ability. The preliminary quotient for awfulness was quite high.

"How much are the tickets?" Pryvett said.

"Twenty-five dollars."

"Jeez, that's pretty steep. Even for a regular reader?"

"Sorry man, but you know how it is. The Man gets us coming and going. Believe me, nobody's getting rich over there."

"I believe you," Pryvett sighed and fished two tens and a five our of his wallet.

* * *

The anticipation, alone, leading up to the T & H dinner was worth the price of the ticket. Over the course of those two weeks, Pryvett often found himself in the PHC warehouse thinking about how many kinds of awful he would witness at the event. Having worked alongside union guys, Pryvett's assessment of unions was that they sank businesses with wage and benefit demands, while protecting bad workers. For instance, there was a Zero Tolerance policy in effect at PHC for any type of stealing or pilferage. A union guy once stole a motorcycle helmet someone had ordered through the mail. He was caught, and as management prepared to bring down its Great Tome of Rules -- bound, Pryvett didn't doubt, in human skin -- upon the back of the union guy's neck, the union, itself, launched its own offensive upon management. The sum total of half a dozen closed-door meetings was that the union guy was suspended for a week, with pay, and suffered no further sanctions. In a face-saving gesture, the following week, management cracked down on lateness among the non-union ranks, writing up and penalizing unprotected minions.

Extrapolating from the pathetic figure cut by the T & H man, Pryvett imagined the dinner involving line-dancing, beer chug-a-lug competitions, and possibly even a wet T-shirt contest. He also bet on there being some unplanned events like fist fights at the bar and in the parking lot, drunken louts groping ex-roller-derby-queen waitresses and at least one visit during the night by a police riot wagon.

* * *

The Tongs & Hammer dinner was held at the American Legion Hall because the union hall had already been booked that night for the Julius Martov Arm Wrestling Classic.

When Pryvett Rawgers arrived at the Legion, he was greeted at the door by a grizzled man with a gray walrus mustachio and a mullet the color of concrete. "Welcome Brother!" he said and sold Pryvett a five dollar door prize ticket.

One thing Pryvett hadn't given much thought to was how many people might attend the dinner. The hall was packed; Pryvett was surprised by the number of guests. He saw one man dressed in a tight, tartan suit and bell-bottoms wearing a sash that read The Daily Crush. There were numerous men wearing baseball caps, the fronts of which were decorated with flag pins and union badges.

As he got in line at the bar, Pryvett overheard another grizzled, bearded man with a mullet saying, "They're raffling off the Complete Works of Karl Marx as the door prize? What the hell are they thinking? Reading's worse than work! Why don't they raffle off Linda Lissome's sex tape, or something?"

At the bar the choices were simple: Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap and two kinds of booze -- whiskey with ice or whiskey without ice. Pryvett ordered two draughts.

As he took his beers, he saw a knot of people gathered around an eating contest in progress. The food of choice was pickled, hardboiled eggs. A red, round-faced man whose dress shirt strained at the bottoms across his mammoth mid-section was up against -- and handily beating -- a young skinny guy with thyroid eyes and two guys with mullets. The man whom Pryvett guessed was the contest referee had a red bandanna tied around his head, and wore a T-shirt that read: "Union! Love it or leave it!"

Walking away from the contest area, Pryvett was suddenly, aggressively slapped on the ass, nearly causing him to spill his beers. He turned and found a fat woman in black stretch pants and a "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?" T-shirt, who had unnervingly large hands and a strange, leering grin on her moon face. "Nice ass, guy!" she said. Pryvett hurried away.

As he moved around the room, Pryvett saw different stripes of the "old guard" -- guys in tight, tartan suits with short ties, bald, bowling-ball heads glistening with perspiration, and the bearded-mustachioed-mulleted men, wearing bandannas around their heads, or thighs, or upper arms. They mingled awkwardly with the "young punks;" a gaggle of trout-eyed thugs with tattoos on their necks, leading around dull-eyed dates with pornstar bodies clad in tight Shop-Mart dresses. The old guard ogled them heartily and mightily.

There was no assigned seating -- "Hey man, we've got enough rules at work without people telling us where to sit and when to eat!" Pryvett heard one guy say -- and the dinner was strewn along a buffet table. Pryvett figured out that dinner was served when a mass of humanity gravitated from the bar and converged toward the far corner. He got in line and listened to the conversations around him.

One mulleted man with a frightening scar that ran from over his right eye, into his hairline, was saying to a comrade, ". . . and I told that fucking supervisor 'I killed thirty-two gooks in Vietnam so I could wear long hair, so fuck you!'"

A scuffle broke out near the front of the buffet line. Above the numerous conversations going on, Pryvett heard a voice shout, "I'm the editor of Class Struggle Magazine -- I think I should be served first!"

"Yeah, well I'm assistant office manager of Workplace Press, so fuck you!"

Some moon-faced old guard guys in black Alfred Hitchcock suits broke up the commotion and the buffet line continued to move. But it wasn't long before there were more raised voices. By that time, Pryvett was close enough to the buffet to see the bust of a man carved out of butter. The new flair-up involved a man who tried using some of that butter for a dinner roll.

"Get that knife away from The Master's earlobe, you jackass!" someone shouted.

"Oh right, I see the resemblance now," said the scarred, mulleted man in front of Pryvett. "It's Jimmy Hoffa." The man sniffed derisively. "Wonder how much that cost."

"That man's a saint!" shouted another voice at the front of the line. "Hoffa's the cornerstone of this organization!"

"Yeah -- the cornerstone of Michigan and Trumbull!" someone shouted from behind Pryvett.

The voices joining into the chorus of shouts came from up and down the line: "I'm here to eat, not to kiss the ass of Jimmy Hoffa. He's part of the Pontiac Silverdome!"

"I bet it was the Fords that hit him because he was getting too many benefits for workers!"

From the other side of the hall, there went up a shout, followed by a crash, as the front doors banged in around a crowd of men. Pryvett did a double-take, and watched a mob of mullets and tight, tartan suits, beer bellies, jowls and raised arms. Atop their shoulders they carried in a prize of the enemy; booty; sacrifice; an enemy combatant to be waterboarded. On their shoulders they carried a red Prius.

The men dumped the Prius on its side with a loud crash and the rise of cheering voices. A crowd gathered around the wounded vehicle, kicking its roof and hood. Someone caved in the windshield with a chair. The mob at the buffet table converged on the overturned car. The din of voices was deafening. There was something tribal, feral, not altogether human about the roar of celebration and approval.

If Pryvett had come to observe a train-wreck-of-an-evening, he now got his wish. He had witnessed bar fights in his time, food fights in the bleachers of baseball games, even a catfight among dancers at a stripclub one blessed night. But none of the stag party melees, after-the-game rampages from football and baseball stadiums, or even the messiest of St. Patrick's Day celebrations prepared him for what took place in the center of the hall at that moment.

The beating on the car was reminiscent of the sporadic vandalism and vehemence of the early 1980s when Japanese cars first made their challenge at American automotive superiority -- back when a Honda or Toyota was corralled at the State Fair and people invited to take whacks at it with a sledge hammer for a quarter a blow.

Pryvett's practiced eye and honed ear told him, now, that the violence be perpetrated upon the Prius was intensifying, rather than ebbing as the automobile was reduced to scrap. As a seasoned observer of train-wreck-evenings, Pryvett knew he wouldn't last long if the violence exploded outward into a full-on brawl within the hall. As he watched the fat woman who'd slapped him on the ass, earlier, in the "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?" T-shirt, rush into the mob clobbering the car, Pryvett turned to the buffet table.

The lout who'd buttered his dinner roll from Jimmy Hoffa's lobe had disfigured the bust. The authority of its likeness to The Master was gone.

But what if another Master could be wrought from this margarine? Pryvett thought as he grabbed a cheese knife. In a series of deft, desperate moves, Pryvett formed the bust's chin into a two-pronged Nazarene's beard. He overturned the stainless steel salad bowl on its head and formed a mane of hair with the wilted leaf lettuce. He used more lettuce to make the beard and mustachio more prominent. When his impromptu creation was complete, Pryvett hoisted the platter on which the mulleted butter sculpture sat -- marveling squeamishly that it was much heavier than it appeared -- high over his head and approached the mob.

"Ho!" Pryvett called. "Ho! Hey!"

First, a few people on the periphery of the mob turned, and then more did. They looked at Pryvett and then up at his sculpture. At the sight of it, the violence went out of them. Like a wave in reverse, awed silence swept around the crowd surrounding the pummeled Prius and the blows raining down upon the car ceased. There was a flurry of shushing, and then silence.

Pryvett looked at the crowd before him, all gazing at the sculpture he held above his head. He had no idea what to say, but sensed the violence that had just dissipated could just as easily whip up like a flash flood, once more.

"He of the Original Mullet!" Pryvett said, having no idea from where the words came. "He of the Original Mullet wants you to build cars, not destroy them!"

A murmur passed through the crowd.

"Wherever there are two hands at work," Pryvett continued, "he of the Original Mullet -- Jesus! -- wants you to honor their craft."

Pryvett's arms began to quake under the burden of the butter sculpture. A couple of young thugs left their dazed dates to help him. The sculpture was set down gently upon a table.

Pryvett pointed toward the buffet table. "The hands of workers set this buffet table for you. Partake! Partake!"

The crowd of Prius abusers and onlookers moved in a tidal rush to the buffet table.

Mentally, emotionally and physically spent, Pryvett staggered to the empty bar. He wondered, idly, who owned the Prius; who would have brought it to a Tongs & Hammer dinner.

He was distracted from his thoughts by the approach of the burly bartender, who gave him a gruff nod and a stern, admiring look. "I like the cut of your gib," the bartender said. "How about a drink?"

"Yes," Pryvett said. "But could you make it 'to go'? I don't know how long the butter sculpture is going to hold this brood."

"No problem," the bartender said and handed Pryvett a bottle of whiskey. Pryvett was stunned by the generosity. He looked at the bartender wondering if this was a joke.

The bartender winked. "Take it, it's yours." He nodded at the throng around the buffet table. "They're dues are paying for it." He started wiping the bar counter. "And anyhow, that was my wife's fucking Prius."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pryvett Rawgers & Father Phil

Among the rogue's gallery of co-workers populating Pryvett Rawger's daily life in the warehouse of Package Handling Company, International, there is Art in the Dark, Fat Rob, Jerry Jihad, The Drunk Guy, The Crackhead, and Father Phil.

Although each of Pryvett's colleagues has an interesting backstory, nothing compares to Father Phil's ambitions, audacity and hubris.

It needs to be pointed out, front-and-center, that Father Phil is a priest in some arcane, hybrid Christian sect that has about a hundred followers. Ask Father Phil about his flock, and he makes it sound like he's the Archbishop of Canterbury. However, his cathedral is the basement of his house, and hardly a dozen people attend his services. And those who receive his guidance and advice usually do so against their will. Father Phil is a proactive pastor; he doesn't wait to be asked. When he sees an opportunity where he believes his opinion is required, he inserts it thus. Sort of like spiritual animal husbandry.

There was, however, one instance in which a young novitiate of PHC actually sought counsel from Father Phil. This young man's family had been killed in some horrible tragedy, and one day on-shift, he started asking questions of PHC's only acknowledged theologian about mortality and the afterlife. Father Phil listened to the painful details of the young man's hardships, and finally offered his considered opinion: "I think your family is cursed."

The young man looked at him, hoping that might be some sort of strange, spiritual joke, but he quickly saw that it was not. "Somewhere in the past," Father Phil continued, "one of your ancestors committed a great sin and Gawd is still punishing your family for it." He clapped the young man on the shoulder, and nodded. "Pray."

Not only is he quick to offer guidance when it's not asked for, Father Phil is unabashed in sharing his opinions -- usually in the form of outrage -- about his co-workers' more secular pursuits. Breaks and lunchtime are scrums of profanity, indecency and general loutish boisterousness at PHC. When the swearing is too rapid-fire, when the details of the weekend are too pornographic, when the general conversation hits certain scatological depths, Father Phil can be trusted to make a loud, outraged exit from the lunch room, in a cloud of righteous indignation and a hearty, "You're all sick!"

What Father Phil may lack in ecclesiastical real estate and parishioners, he makes up for in pure theological ambition and gusto. You see, he has a mission in life. Actually, his true mission will only commence once he leaves this life:

It is Father Phil's avowed goal and duty to go into Hell in order to rescue all of the souls who were wrongly condemned to be there.

What can he say? He's a big-hearted guy.

When this was originally explained to me, I couldn't help saying to Pryvett Rawgers, "Maybe before Father Phil makes his trip to Hell, he'll pause to reconsider his theology for a moment. I mean, believing that souls have been wrongly condemned implies that Gawd made a mistake. It also implies that Father Phil knows better than Gawd what is right and what is wrong. I'd bet he'd get to Hell and find a room filled with dingbats just like himself who had the same idea."

Moreover, I have to wonder how Father Phil intends to get into Hell. If he can't bear the conversations of his colleagues in the lunch room, or accept the thrash and death metal they listen to while working in the warehouse, how does he plan to endure the wretchedness of Hell?

Also, I imagine that Father Phil leads what he considers to be a pious life, and believes that those who live like his PHC co-workers -- drinking, drugging, committing fornication, bestiality, mopery, Olympic onanism, and all manner of profanity and desecration -- will be damned. How, then, will he actually get to Hell?

When he's whisked to Heaven during the Rapture, will Father Phil ask Gawd to send him to Hell? I'd love to see how that goes down: "Yeah, uh, Gawd, considering you've made so many mistakes in whom you've called to Heaven and whom you've damned to Hell, I'd like a return ticket to the Netherworld so that I can rectify what you have screwed up. . . . No offense, of course."

And once in Hell, I'm curious to know how Father Phil plans to free himself, let alone those he's intent on rescuing. I mean, Congressman Leo Ryan's visit to Jonestown in November 1978 turned out much more problematic than he believed it would be. I can't imagine Father Phil fairing better than Congressman Ryan in the jungle of Guyana, and therefore, am extremely curious to know how Father Phil plans to extract himself and his brood of wrongly damned souls from the clutches of a being who will likely not be cranked up on Quaaludes and Kool Aid.

That said, he must have some idea. One afternoon, Pryvett and a co-worker were talking in the warehouse and Pryvett shared his idea of damnation, saying, "Hell must be like this place -- endless, pointless scanning for people who don't appreciate us."

Pryvett then said that he more felt or intuited Father Phil's approach, than actually heard his nearing footsteps. The next thing Pryvett knew, there were hands on his shoulders and he knew to whom they belonged. Then came Father Phil's voice in his ear, "Pryvett, Hell is much worse than this."

Ed. Note Father Phil is not only welcome to respond to this blog, he is invited to reply. I demand he reply. His response will be posted absolutely unexpurgated.

Ryan & Alter Egos - The Life of Ryan Larkin

In the late 1960s, Ryan Larkin was a rising star in the National Film Board of Canada. He was an artist and animator who was nominated for an Academy Award in 1969 for his revolutionary short, animated film, Walking. Walt Disney won the Oscar that year. In 1972, Ryan Larkin created a widely acclaimed animated short titled Street Musique. Just when it looked like Ryan was coming into his full creative powers in the mid-1970s, he, like so many others, succumbed to drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Ryan Larkin ultimately found himself living on the street in Toronto, Ontario, panhandling change in order to stay alive.

Read the whole review

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

DVD Review - The Who Live at the Isle of Wight 1970

It was a year after the legendary 1969 Woodstock rock festival; across the Atlantic: the Isle of Wight Festival of 1970. The official count of attendees topped 600,000 souls. The festival had its share of gate-crashing and interruptions. One festival-goer was allowed to take the stage at one point to make a statement, in which he denounced the festival as a "psychedelic concentration camp." In fact, the audience was so rowdy during performances, Joni Mitchell later called festival the "Hate the Performers Festival." After being interrupted singing "Woodstock," Joni Mitchell chided the audience saying they were acting "like a bunch of tourists."

So, it was no hippie love-in among the 600,000 when "a nice band from Shepherd's Bush" - as the stage announcer introduced The Who - took the stage at 2 a.m. Sunday August 30th, 1970. Whatever had gone on during the other performances was suddenly rendered irrelevant: The Who was not there for the audience, the audience was there for The Who. After some quick banter between Pete Townshend and Keith Moon, in which they alternately instructed the massive sea of humanity to "Sit down" and "Stand up," a few times, the band launched into a pounding rendition of "Heaven and Hell" sung by John Entwistle (who came to the event dressed in a skeleton Hallowe'en suit).

Read the whole review

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Looking for rebound sex?


Review: Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Sacha Gervasi's film The Story Anvil is a rock 'n' roll fable, which embodies the heart and soul of heavy metal. The documentary also brings to moviegoers the raw, vulnerable, sinewy soul of artists laboring, languishing, but always striving for their heart's ambition - to rock.

There's no question that metal band Anvil possessed all of the attributes of a classic head-banging band: style, chops, decibels, attitude, and one schizophrenic foot planted in fantasy and the other in urinal-puck-stinking barroom reality.

Read the rest of the review

Monday, April 06, 2009

Look who drinks Putz Beer!

"After a long, hot day at the smelter melting down my golden parachute, there's nothing I love more than to kick back with an ice cold bottle of Putz!" -- Rick Waggoner, former CEO of General Motors

Also see:
November 24, 2008: CEOs May Ditch Jets & Carpool to D.C.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Terrible economy revives memories of best jobs

An abused, cantankerous white 1987 Chevette was my steed in one of the best jobs I ever had - delivery driver for a neighborhood pharmacy. With my open-top card board box filled with bags of prescriptions, bottles of soda, cartons of cigarettes, magazines, boxes of tampons, and anything else sold in the store, I'd hit the street with purpose. The car was bare bones, but it did have a tape deck. That's all I needed. I'd pop in Sam Cooke's Greatest Hits, crank up the miserable vehicle - seeming to wake it from a hungover sleep - and take to the streets like the Lone Ranger of Corner Commerce.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

New From Exec-u-tricks: The Guill-o-Door, for that troublesome "Open Door Policy"

The touchy-feely "I-care-about-my-minions'-feelings"-crowd has made the "open door policy" an unfortunate part of life in corporate management. How is any self-respecting manager or director supposed to run an area, group, unit, floor or department without keeping one's door closed and wielding the time-honored pink-slip-truncheon to keep the peons in line?

The team at Exec-u-tricks feels your pain.

Introducing Guill-o-Door, an in-office guillotine-door-system equipped with a 325-pound authentically engineered guillotine blade that is guaranteed to stop complaining, lazy, whining employees in their tracks. Utilizing spring-load technology used in commercial jets, the Guill-o-Door blade drops into action quicker than you can say, "I need the afternoon off." It's certified to completely bisect any human being -- regardless of race, creed, pay scale or body type -- up to a weight of 410 lbs.

Do you have tall complainers on staff? No problem! Guill-o-Door slices tall people in half like celery.

Do you have short whiners always skulking in? Great! Guill-o-Door's lazer precision and hydraulic heft and power stops them in their wee tracks.

Guill-o-Door is also perfect for the home office, especially for dissolving business partnerships.

Do you have a spouse threatening a nasty divorce? Bring it on! Install Guill-o-Door in your residence and have peace and silence reign once more!

Let the warm-and-fuzzies have their "open door policy." Exec-u-tricks will deal with whatever comes through that door!