Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Big Hit

Probably want to start at about one minute in and watch until the interview part with the swollen.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kevin Garnett

FILA

Boxing is about to make a minor comeback when Mayweather and Pacquiao agree to go at. For the first time in a long time the two best boxers in the world will be facing off to decide who is the best. Even though it is not heavyweights it should be an excellent match and a worthwhile pay per view. For now, we have this classic press conference featuring Riddick Bowe and Larry Donald.

Curious?

Follow the link.

Dirt McGirt Content

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Say What?

I passionately hate the idea of being with it, I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time.
- Orson Welles

Monday, November 9, 2009

Spotted Him!

Sedgewick sighting at the Sasquatch Music Festival:

Had to redo this link because Drew Kellerman is the establishment.

Here is more complete video with multiple angles:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rick Reilly on Andre Agassi's New Book 'Open'


from espn:
If image really is everything, why would Andre Agassi admit in his new book that he used crystal meth? Not once but dozens of times? And why would he admit he lied about it to the Association of Tennis Professionals?

Why would a son admit how much he feared his Iranian father -- feared him and hated him since the age of 7? And why -- why! -- would a man admit he wore perhaps the world's only Mohawk toupee?

Why? Because this isn't just any book.

This is Agassi's mea culpa -- "Open" (from Knopf, written with Pulitzer Prize winner J.R. Moehringer) -- and from the beginning, he and Moehringer set out to write the most revealing, literate and toes-stompingly honest sports autobiography in history. From the parts I've been allowed to read, they might have done it.

"I just tell people, this book is honest," says Agassi, who worked with Moehringer for a full year, meeting nearly daily at the Las Vegas house Agassi once lived in with Brooke Shields. "It lives up to the title. It's my life, for better or worse. Get ready, buckle up, and keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times."

"Open" is the story of a flawed man who sees everybody's imperfections, but none more than his own. It's the tale of a man who knows how low he sunk if only because of the grand view he has now.

Agassi's early life was not his, never his, not from the beginning, not from the time his Olympic boxer father built a backyard prison especially for him, a tennis court he was figuratively chained to day after day, while his father's homemade ball machine -- the dragon, Agassi called it -- ceaselessly spit out balls faster, harder, forever.

Agassi bucked against tennis like a horse with a two-sizes-too-small bit. But he could not escape it. And so his life became a kind of lie, from his shoelace groundstrokes to his Mohawk, a hairpiece that once came apart in the shower before the French Open. The day was saved by bobby pins.

Your own life is hard enough. Living somebody else's life for them weighs on a man like a stone backpack. By 1997 -- even after winning an Olympic gold medal in 1996 -- Agassi was down, depressed and stuck playing a game he didn't love. He was physically wrecked (wrist) and emotionally spent. He was with the wrong woman -- Shields -- and knew it.

He'd sunk to No. 141 in the world. He recalls that he was sitting at home when his assistant, Slim, introduced him to one of the most addictive substances known to man:

Slim says, You want to get high with me?
On what?

Gack.

What the hell's gack?

Crystal meth.

Why do they call it gack?

Because that's the sound you make when you're high. Make you feel like Superman, dude.

As if they're coming out of someone else's mouth, I hear these words: You know what? F*** it. Yeah. Let's get high.

Agassi pulled himself out of the French Open that year and hardly practiced for Wimbledon. That fall, it got worse. The ATP informed him at the end of 1997 that he'd flunked a drug test. He would likely be looking at a three-month suspension. He would probably lose all his endorsements and most of his fans.

What to do? Keep lying.

Agassi admits he wrote a letter to the ATP saying Slim accidentally "spiked" his drink, that it was not his fault. The ATP dropped the flunked test, with no discipline for Agassi. He admits in the book he felt "ashamed."

It was the lowest point in a life that would suddenly begin to soar. You can condemn Agassi all you want for the crystal meth -- and he'd deserve it -- but remember, Agassi dropped the habit soon after. Then, in 1998, he made the biggest one-year jump into the Top 10 in the history of the ATP Rankings, going from his year-end 122 to No. 6. He'd win five of his eight major titles after finding the bottom.

They call Agassi the greatest returner in history. They aren't kidding.

We all know what became of the showy, glitzy kid with all that fake hair and real talent. He shaved his hair off. He started being real. He learned to love tennis, and tennis learned to love him. The kid who never got past the ninth grade in school wound up funding and running the prestigious Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas. The man who couldn't find the right woman finally married the one everybody wanted -- tennis goddess Steffi Graf. And the son who hated his father learned to love him and his own two kids.

Why is Agassi so scorchingly honest in these excerpts? Maybe because he once lived enough lies for five men. Or maybe because, as an educator, he's heard the truth can set him free.

But hopefully, by the time you close "Open," you'll know that this book is about more than the wrong turns he took. It's about how that broken road led him straight to the good man he is now.

Follow Up: Larry Johnson, Kansas City Chief, National Football League

Chiefs running back Larry Johnson, who used a homophobic epithet on two occasions in the wake of Sunday's 37-7 loss to the Chargers, has issued an apology.

"First of all, I want to apologize to the fans of the Kansas City Chiefs and the rest of the NFL, Commissioner Goodell, the Chiefs organization, Coach Todd Haley, his staff, and my teammates for the words I used yesterday," Johnson said in a statement issued by agent Peter Schaffer.  "I regret my actions. The words were used by me in frustration, and they were not appropriate. I did not intend to offend anyone, but that is no excuse for what I said. 

"I also want to apologize to all the kids who view athletes as role models. I was not a good role model yesterday and hopefully I can become a better role model.  We all make mistakes, and the challenge is to learn from them.  I will do my best to learn from this one as I move toward becoming a better person, teammate, and member of the Kansas City chiefs team and community."

Johnson used the term "fag" in direction of one on his Twitter followers, and then told reporters on Monday to "get your faggot asses out of here."  The league office has said that it is exploring the situation, and discipline could be imposed by the Chiefs, the NFL, or both.
[Editor's note:  We previously characterized the Chiefs' action against Johnson as a suspension.  We're told that it isn't, and that he agreed to stay home until the ongoing investigation regarding his comments is completed.  Though it's arguably a matter of semantics, neither the team nor the player view the action as a suspension.]

Well, the apology was apparently too little, and too late.

The Chiefs have announced that running back Larry Johnson has been sent home. 

"The Kansas City Chiefs and the National Football League are continuing to investigate the alleged comments made by Larry Johnson," the statement from the team says.  "Until that review is complete, the Chiefs have instructed Larry to refrain from practicing with the Chiefs or participating in other team activities.  A decision regarding Larry's status will be made once the investigation has concluded."

Johnson used the term "fag" in communicating with one of his Twitter followers, and Johnson said to reporters Monday, "Get your faggot asses out of here."

But before the Chiefs or the league decide to take serious action against Johnson, both the team and the folks at 280 Park Avenue should consider that former Lions CEO Matt Millen twice called Johnnie Morton a "faggot" after a game in 2003 -- and that no action was taken against Millen, who like Johnson publicly apologized.

Then again, if coaches who break jaws (accidentally or otherwise) will be treated differently than players who punch other players, it should be no surprise that Millen got a pass, and that Johnson might find himself losing a game check or two.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Two from Andre Williams

Bacon Fat
Jailbait

Larry Johnson, Kansas City Chief, National Football League

from profootballtalk:
From our friends at KCSP in Kansas City comes the latest development in the sudden eruption of Mt. L.J.

When reporters entered the locker room on Monday, Johnson said, "I'm not talking [until] Thursday."

And then Johnson uttered a sentence that surely will catch the interest of the league office.

Per KCSP, Johnson said partially under his breath, "Get your faggot asses out of here."

Um. Oops.

We're told that audio of the encounter is coming. So stay tuned.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dalai Lama

They hide the essential from us.
We very easily get used to the mind's laziness, all the more easily because laziness hides beneath the appearance of activity: we run right and left, we make calculations and phone calls. But these activities engage only the most elementary and coarse levels of the mind.

BlakRoc

Friday, October 9, 2009

Gator Bite

from espn:
BEAUFORT, S.C. -- Officials say an alligator bit off part of a golfer's arm as he leaned over to pick up his ball at a private South Carolina course.

The man, who is in his 70s, was retrieving his ball from a pond when the 10-foot alligator bit him at Ocean Creek Golf Course in Beaufort County. The gator pulled the golfer into the pond and ripped off his arm in the struggle. His golf partners were able to free him.

Wildlife workers killed the alligator and retrieved the arm in the hopes it might be reattached.

The man has not been identified. He was being treated at the Medical University of South Carolina, but officials there would not release any information about him.

A call to the golf course was not immediately returned.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

They Chose Poorly

"Two yobs who attacked a pair of cross-dressers picked on the wrong guys - they were cage fighters on a night out in fancy dress." Story and great video here.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

UFL

from profootballtalk.com:
The UFL's premiere season starts next week. And so the UFL teams have unveiled their final rosters.

Here are some of the guys with recognizable names.

For the California Redwoods: running back Obafemi Ayanbadejo, quarterback Mike McMahon, receiver B.J. Sams, receiver Bobby Sippio, linebacker Dontarrious Thomas, and running back John David Washington.

For the Florida Tuskers: running back Tatum Bell, quarterback Brooks Bollinger, cornerback Fakhir Brown, defensive end Patrick Chukwurah, receiver Doug Gabriel, defensive back (and former Super Bowl MVP) Dexter Jackson, running back Michael Pittman, punter Todd Sauerbrun, defensive lineman Darrion Scott, guard Charles Spencer, linebacker Odell Thurman, tight end Jermaine Wiggins, running back Quincy Wilson, and defensive tackle Claude Wroten.

For the Las Vegas Locos: defensive tackle Wendell Bryant, running back De De Dorsey, receiver David Kircus, quarterback J.P. Losman, quarterback Tim Rattay, running back Marcel Shipp, and linebacker Gary Stills.

For the New York Sentinels: cornerback Tra Battle, quarterback Quinn Gray, quarterback Ingle Martin, defensive end Simeon Rice, receiver Koren Robinson, and receiver Craphonso Thorpe.

The games start on October 8

Kanye

from theboombox.com:
Though apologetic, Kanye West doesn't seem to have learned from his MTV Video Music Awards blunder.

The Chicago rapper/producer performed at the "Common & Friends Benefit Concert," a charity event that featured performances by Nas, De La Soul, Queen Latifah and more, this past weekend, and apparently threw a fit backstage when he saw someone eating chicken, because he hadn't been offered any.

"Why wasn't I offered chicken?" Kanye complained, according to several sources. "You want me to perform for free, [and] everyone is eating... why am I not eating?"

When a waitress appeared to take assuage, the talented tantrum baby, explaining that he hadn't asked for any food, Kanye replied angrily, "Well, I'm asking now!"

When he received the chicken he requested, he allegedly took one bite, then threw the rest out, as his girl Amber Rose stood silently at his side, and the rest of the artists backstage looked on "in awe."

We really want to stop giving the guy a hard time cause it seems a bit unfair at this point, but if this report is accurate, Kanye really needs to calm down.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Sound of Silence

The Heartbreak Kid

Doc: So, what's new Eddie? Anything exciting?
Eddie Cantrow: Ah, yeah, we just got those new Nike Sasquatch drivers in the store, so that's been kind of cool.
Doc: Let me rephrase the question. You been crushin' any pussy?

OchoCinco courtesy of Primetime

2 go up u must giv up sumin. 2 stay up u must giv up even more. any success gained came wit sacrifices . da higher u climb da greater da sacrifice

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sheikh and the President




President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a photo during a reception at the Metropolitan Museum in New York with His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, and H.H. Sheikha Mozah Consort of H.H. The Emir of the State of Qatar, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Surviving Mach 1

from aol.com:
In the rarefied world of fighter pilots, Brian Udell is known as the Supersonic Survivor. He’s the only airman ever to survive ejecting at sea level from a jet going faster than Mach 1, the speed of sound. Incredibly, Udell endured a sustained load of 45 g. Given his weight -- 195 pounds -- that means he faced g-forces of nearly 9,000 pounds, the equivalent of an RV trailer parked right on top of him.

On April 18, 1995, Udell was flying an F-15E tactical jet fighter off the coast of North Carolina on a routine training exercise. An experienced pilot who has flown more than one hundred combat missions, Udell also served as an F-15E instructor. Almost instantly, he sensed something wasn’t right with his plane and it was heading straight toward the ocean.

The entire drama -- from that simple right turn to a life-or-death situation -- had taken only five or ten seconds, fewer than it takes to read this sentence. At 10,000 feet, Udell’s jet shattered the Mach 1 barrier of 769 miles per hour. Udell realized it was too late to save the plane. 

“Bail out! Bail out! Bail out!” he commanded.

Udell watched the cockpit canopy slide back. He saw a white flash of light and an enormous wind blast. And then there was only darkness.

Udell’s parachute opened just five hundred feet over the water. He quickly realized his helmet and mask had been ripped off by the windblast. In the hospital, he would learn that all of the blood vessels in his face had exploded, his lips swelled up like hot dogs, and his head inflated to the size of a watermelon.

The life preserver around his neck was no use -- it had been sliced into ribbons during the ejection. His gloves and watch were gone, too. A one-man life raft was supposed to be hanging at the end of a fifteen-foot cord attached to his right hip, and he prayed that it hadn’t been shredded.

One moment he was dry. The next, he was ten feet under water. Udell felt the salt burn his wounds, and he struggled to the surface. Now he was alone some sixty-five miles off the North Carolina coast in five-foot seas without a life vest.

First, he tried a frog kick and realized how badly his legs were damaged. Three of his four limbs didn’t work. Swimming wasn’t really an option. He tried to pull himself onto the life raft, but with only one functioning arm, he couldn’t get leverage. Every time he pulled himself up onto the lip of the raft, a wave knocked him off. 

Udell knew he was burning through adrenaline and wouldn’t be able to keep going much longer. Finally, he put his head against the raft, closed his eyes, and said to himself: This is it. I’m going to die tonight. His eyes well up with tears as he remembers his decision to stop fighting for his life and to start praying. Broken and battered, he cried out: “God, I need help.”

Udell prayed to the Lord to let him see his pregnant wife Kristi give birth to their first child. He suddenly felt a surge of energy. Summoning all his strength, he made one last attempt to pull himself onto the raft. This time, instead of knocking him off, a gentle wave nudged him to safety. 

Four hours later, a Coast Guard helicopter plucked Udell from the Atlantic. When air force investigators arrived at the hospital, one said, “You’re not supposed to be here. The human body isn’t designed to handle that.” 

Udell and his partner Dennis White ejected at almost the same exact moment. The circumstances were almost identical, and yet White was killed instantly. 

Why did Udell survive when his partner perished? “I have no clue,” he says. “Those are things that are a mystery.” Like many survivors, Udell is deeply modest about what he endured. “There’s nothing superhuman about me,” he says. “I’m a normal guy.”

Incredibly, within ten months of the accident, Udell was flying F-15s again and went on to serve two more tours in Iraq. 

At 3:36 pm on September 7, 1995, Udell witnessed the birth of his son Morgan Daniel. All of his prayers in the Atlantic had been answered. “This is what you fight for. This is what you live for,” he says. “Pain is temporary. This is eternal.”

Today, Brian is a captain with Southwest Airlines.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Best Preview That I've Seen in Awhile



More on Lawman from tbivision.com:
Not content with kicking bad guys' butts on the big screen, action hero Steven Seagal spends his spare time chasing real-life criminals in his capacity as a fully commissioned deputy sheriff in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. The actor has been training officers in the area and going out on calls with them for almost twenty years. US cable network A&E now has the first series to follow the movie-star-come-lawman in action.
 
The roots of Seagal's career as a cop stretch back twenty years to when he was shooting a movie in Louisiana. He bet a local sheriff that he was a better marksman than any of his men and, after winning the wager, asked to spend some time with the police department in question. He started giving martial arts and combat training to the cops before then going out on patrol with them and he's been working with the department for several weeks or months a year ever since.
 
"When we caught wind of what he was doing we were fascinated," explains Neil Cohen, vice president, non-fiction and alternative programming at A&E Network and the series' executive producer. "We then started months long talks to get Steven comfortable with sharing that side of his life. Luckily for us one of his favourite programs is [Granada America-produced reality cop series] The First 48. So, we introduced him to the folks at Granada and there was an immediate bond."
 
Each episode follows Seagal on patrol and spending time with the officers - including a Zen shooting training session in which the actor proceeds to split tooth picks from a range of 25 feet. AETN is handling international sales and will be launching the show at MIP TV next month.

Bank Robber, Meet a Hero

Everybody Loves Wii

Tossing Jellyfish

from asylum.com:
An intoxicated man was arrested in Florida after pretending to drown and then throwing jellyfish at innocent teenagers, a move that can only be described as spineless.

Witness say that Keith Marriott, 41, had been drinking on the beach for several hours on Monday when he began to cause a disturbance in the water. Marriott repeatedly dunked himself under and then floated to the surface, mimicking drowning and "causing concern for his safety," according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's report.

That's when the jellyfish started flying. The drunken man, who cops later found was hiding a pocketknife in his shorts, began tossing the sea creatures at teenagers who were swimming nearby.

Police arrested Marriott and brought him to jail, where he was "uncooperative" and, according to a sheriff's office spokesperson, in need of treatment for a pre-existing wound.

So just to sum up: A drunk guy with an open wound and a concealed knife faked his own drowning and then flung live jellyfish at teenagers. Just another Monday in Florida.
from tampabay.com:
MADEIRA BEACH — A 41-year-old man who witnesses said had been drinking since 9 a.m. was arrested Monday afternoon after authorities say he created a disturbance by pretending to drown and throwing jellyfish on teenagers.
Keith Edward Marriott, of 100 154th Ave. in Madeira Beach, faces charges of disorderly intoxication and carrying a concealed weapon after a pocketknife was found in his shorts, Pinellas County sheriff's deputies said. Marriott repeatedly submerged himself and floated to the surface, "causing concern for his safety," and was "loud and disruptive," according to a sheriff's report.
Then he started throwing sea creatures.
Marriott, who is listed on arrest reports as working for a brokerage company, remained at the Pinellas County Jail medical care division on Thursday although his bail is just $250. Pinellas County Sheriff's spokeswoman Marianne Pasha said Marriott came into the jail "quite intoxicated" and "somewhat uncooperative," and in need of care for a wound unrelated to his arrest. He can leave the facility as soon as he comes up with the clams.

The Origin of Sedgewick's Dance Move

Go to the 4 minute mark, watch for twenty five seconds.

Lane Kiffin

from espn:
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin said he put his Volunteers in the best position they could be in to beat Florida. Then he took one more shot at Gators coach Urban Meyer.

Meyer said Sunday that he kept his game plan conservative in No. 1 Florida's 23-13 win because he didn't believe Tennessee appeared to be playing for a win. He also said several of his players had been hit by the flu.

On Monday, Kiffin said he didn't want to respond to Meyer's comment. But asked whether he was worried about the flu also hitting Tennessee, he said: "I don't know. I guess we'll wait and after we're not excited about a performance, we'll tell you everybody was sick."
Follow the link.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Barclay's Freerunning World Championships

Coming soon on Versus:

Survivor

from lemon drop:
If you've been thinking about getting a haircut before going on a camping trip, you may want to reconsider. After being stranded in the wilderness, it was only by sucking the moisture from her hair that 68-year-old Cynthia Hoover managed to stay alive for five days.

While driving on a mountain road near Central City, Colo., Cynthia swerved to avoid a herd of deer. Her car rolled off the road and 350 feet down a steep hillside. She broke eleven ribs, cracked her vertebrae and punctured her lung. Stranded alone in the ravine, she says that thoughts of her family motivated her to stay alive.

She grabbed a golf club from her car to use as a cane to help her make the climb up the slope toward civilization, but was so badly injured that she couldn't make all the way. She turned around and headed for a mining operation that was downhill, planning to use the golf club for self-defense if wild animals tried to attack her in the night, which fortunately never happened.

Since her car rolled too far from the highway, and Cynthia often traveled on business alone, nobody noticed the accident or reported her missing. She was alone in the woods for five days, basically crawling on her face, through a cold front of rain, sleet and hail. This moisture would prove to be life-sustaining, as she sucked on her hair to keep from becoming completely dehydrated during her ordeal.

Eventually she managed to crawl 450 feet away from the mining operation and attracted the attention of the workers, who were only there on a fluke since the mine was supposed to be closed that day -- by calling out. They found her with a swollen face and a mouth full of dirt from dragging herself with her face on the ground. She was airlifted to a hospital where she was listed in critical condition, but has since been downgraded to fair condition.

It's an incredibly remarkable survival story and also a testament to the fact that long hair isn't just vanity -- it can also help save your life.

Hairy

from lemondrop:
A whopping 96% of the body of the world's furriest man is covered with hair. But it won't be for long -- Yu Zhenghuan, who's something of a celebrity in his native China, is having excess hair removed and getting plastic surgery because a director didn't give him the part of a talking monkey in a film.

32-year-old Yu, who suffers from a medical condition known as hirstutism, will undergo around four or five treatments to remove some of the hair. Then, he plans to have plastic surgery to make himself "look more like a pretty monkey, and let the director regret his decision." Yikes. After getting his pelt removed he plans on having surgery to enlarge his eyes, and make his nose and lips smaller. That...sort of...sounds like a pretty monkey...we guess.

Yu's big break came at the age of seven when he was transformed into a child star by the movie Monkey Boy's Treasure Safari. Maybe after this he will be able to take roles as an actual human, good for him.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bear Attack!

from aol:
TOKYO (Sept. 20) — A bear injured nine people at a highway rest stop in central Japan before being shot dead in a souvenir shop, a firefighter said Sunday.
The black bear seriously injured four men Saturday afternoon in Nyukawa, a small mountain town about 140 miles west of Tokyo, said firefighter Tomohiko Akano.
The 4-foot animal came down a mountain path and attacked people at a bus parking lot. One tourist tried to beat the animal back with a stick, but the bear retaliated and seriously injured the man, the Examiner.com reported.
According to reports cited by the Examiner, several employees at a nearby souvenir shop tried to help the injured man, but were also wounded by the bear. The animal eventually entered a lodge where it was trapped in the souvenir shop. Panic ensued but the animal was cornered and shot dead by a hunter, according to media reports.
No one suffered life-threatening injuries in the attack, which lasted about an hour, reports said.
A photograph from the scene showed the bear mauling a prone person in a parking lot while a man attempted to scare it off.
The rest stop is on a mountainous road that is open during summer months only to licensed buses and taxis. The area is frequented by tourists for its scenic views.

Say What?

"Never explain - your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway."
- Benjamin Disraeli (was a British Prime Minister, parliamentarian, Conservative statesman and literary figure. (courtesy wikipedia)

Say What?

"Faith is the first step when you don't see the stairs"
- Martin Luter King Jr. (was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement. (courtesy wikipedia)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

One For The Road

Michael Jackson's This Is It in HD

Dreams and Nightmares

The other night I awoke from a dream. Instantly I knew it was a nightmare because I was fucking terrified.

I was taking a shit on an outdoor toilet in my front yard. The toilet was a wood box with a seat on it. It was over by the trees, which provided some cover, but make no mistake I was out in the open.

As I was shitting I noticed the guy who lives across the street. The one with the long hair and the beard who lives with his mom still. He eats at Interlachen every night and rips his car up the driveway at breakneck speeds.

He was in his front yard digging with a shovel. I don't know what he was digging but I could hear it and see his upper body and part of the motion of the shovel.

As I realized that he was in his front yard and that I was in my front yard shitting I became very worried or maybe even scared. I can't remember if he started chasing me first or if I ran first, either way I ran from the toilet to my house.

As I entered I ran all the way to the basement. In the basement I ran deep into my room and paged my mom on the telephone system. I was in a panic. I told her about shitting in the front yard and how the guy across the street had been digging in his front yard while I was doing it. Before she could say anything I heard a noise and sprinted to the staircase. As I arrived I saw his feet descending the stairs. I ran back deep into my room and told my mom that he was in the house. He walked into my room, what had been a shovel was now an axe. Or maybe it was still a shovel but I think it was an axe. Either way as he approached me I wondered whether or not he would swing at me. I just stood there as he approached with a blank stare. Then he pulled back and swung at me.

That's when I woke up. My eyes searched the room for him. Just me in bed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Obama, Off The Record

Follow the link.

Bill Withers

Say What?

"God help those who do not help themselves."
- Wilson Mizner (an American playwright, raconteur, and entrepreneur (courtesy wikipedia.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Street Cred

from realgm:
Allen Iverson said during his introductory news conference on Thursday that he wants to prove his critics wrong.
Iverson formally signed a one-year contract with the Grizzlies earlier this week.
"This year for me is so personal," Iverson said at the news conference.
"It's basically going to be my rookie season again. It hurts, but I turn the TV on, I read the paper, I listen to some of the things people say about me having the season that I had last year and me losing a step, things like that. They're trying to put me in a rocking chair already."
The signing of Allen Iverson has resulted in the biggest boom in ticket sales that the Grizzlies have ever seen.
"The last 48 hours it has been our biggest two days of sales since we started here," says Dennis O'Connor, Vice President of Ticket Sales for the Memphis Grizzlies.
The team is giving fans an Iverson jersey with the purchase of a season ticket package.

Neverland

I Want You To Hit Me As Hard As You Can

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bacon Kid

We're All Madoffs

Our relationship to the natural world is a Ponzi scheme
By David P. Barash

Everybody hates Bernard Madoff, and for good reason. He bilked hundreds—thousands—of people out of billions, perhaps tens of billions, of dollars, destroyed numerous life savings, ruined the future prospects of many of those who had trusted him, all the while living in ostentatious, and, it is now painfully clear, despicable luxury.

He did all this via what may be the largest Ponzi scheme in history. There is no question that Madoff was a perpetrator and not himself a victim: He was (and presumably still is) highly intelligent and sophisticated in the ways of the financial world. He knew precisely what he was doing, and did it nonetheless. In addition to celebrating his prison sentence, disinterested observers and victims alike therefore found themselves wondering aloud: What was he thinking?

Beyond the illegality of Madoff's scam, why didn't he consider his responsibility to his clients, to their future, and even to his own? Didn't he know that there would be a day of reckoning, that he couldn't keep up the crazy, fancy footwork indefinitely, that sooner or later his whole deceitful house of cards would come crashing down?

As pleasurable as it is to cast stones at genuine villains, let's pause and redeploy the above housing metaphor, as in "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." Or try a biblical admonition, as in Matthew 7:3: "And why beholds thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considered not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

Because the horrifying reality is that in our fundamental relationship to the natural world—which is, after all, the fundamental relationship for everyone—we are all Madoffs.

As we have all read, Ponzi schemes are also called pyramid schemes: A relatively small number of initial investors (the pointy tip of the pyramid) get paid off by money received from an ever-larger number of subsequent investors, who can, in turn, only profit if there are yet more investors. By this time, the investors can be identified as "suckers," because their payoff, instead of being founded on solid reality, depends on another round of entrepreneurial artifice.

It may be counterintuitive, but there is nothing inherently evil about pyramid schemes. They aren't like murder, rape, or assault and battery, in that no one is necessarily injured, either physically or financially, during their operation. Indeed, early participants can come out ahead, and there is no guaranteed point at which even later investors are bound to lose out. The problem derives from one simple, incontrovertible fact: Pyramid schemes aren't sustainable. Eventually they fail. It isn't possible to keep recruiting a never-ending supply of suckers.

Of course, as the great John Maynard Keynes once famously noted, in the long run, we are all dead. Although Keynes directed his quip against complacent fellow economists who were inclined to point out that all financial crises eventually resolve, when it comes to the nexus of pyramid schemes, economic "progress," and ecosystem sustainability, the long run is precisely when things do not work out.

Make no mistake: Our current relationship to the world ecosystem is nothing less than a pyramid scheme, of a magnitude that dwarfs anything ever contemplated by Charles Ponzi, who, before Madoff, was the best-known practitioner of that dark art. Modern civilization's exploitation of the natural environment is not unlike the way Madoff exploited his investors, predicated on the illusion that it will always be possible to make future payments owing to yet more exploitation down the road: more suckers, more growth, more GNP, based—as all Ponzi schemes are—on the fraud of "more and more," with no foreseeable reckoning, and thus, the promise of no comeuppance, neither legal nor economic nor ecologic. At least in the short run.

In the long term? We're all dead, along with the planet.

After World War II, business leaders worried how to keep the economy moving; their answer was to make consumption a fetish. "Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals," wrote the retail analyst Victor Lebow. "We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever-increasing rate." And we have done just that. Even as average family size has declined in America, the average house size more than doubled from 1949 to 2006; Americans have used up as much of the earth's mineral resources since 1940 as all previous generations combined; and in the process, in the last two centuries the country has lost half of its wetlands, 95 percent of its old-growth forests, and 99 percent of its tall-grass prairies. Nor are those trends uniquely American or simply a result of advertising-driven consumerism: Over the last three decades, to take just one example, the pace of soil loss in Africa has increased twentyfold, with topsoil disappearing 20 to 40 times more rapidly than it is being replaced. Often, our Ponzi scheme derives less from the nefarious scams of greedy malefactors than as a side effect of how we treat the planet, in a largely innocent effort to get ahead, or merely to stay alive.

Consider the use of antibiotics to combat disease-causing microbes. In a Ponzi-pattern if ever there was one, initial large-scale treatment eventually demands a commitment to more and more antibiotics, as pathogens evolve more and more resistance. Soon, effectiveness requires not only increasing the doses, but introducing more and more "wonder drugs," a treadmill whose every step makes a kind of logical, utilitarian sense, but that ultimately threatens to get us nowhere. Or worse.

At least antibiotics work: They are based on solid ground, albeit a slippery slope. But nearly all current economic models of "development" rely upon an even-more unsustainable assumption: that the discovery of new resources (or alternatively, new inputs of capital, technological saviors of one sort or another, and so forth) will always come to our rescue, enabling us to postpone, indefinitely, any final audit.

In turn, and nearly without exception, economies are growth-based, presuming that the future will always bail out the present, thereby making up any deficits accumulated in the past. The basis of borrowing money—as fundamental to modern economies as one can get—is that money itself, properly employed, can be counted upon to expand over time, thereby enabling one to repay the loan, with interest. And of course, the willingness of lenders to lend depends on their corresponding confidence that the quantity loaned will eventually become greater than if it simply sits around and isn't put to work. In short, the presumption is that value can always be added—the Ponzi/Madoff presumption that there will always be more investors.

It may be more than a coincidence that the Madoff fraud unraveled at about the same time as the Great Recession of 2008-9, which revealed a comparable fraud at its core. Both involved unrelenting, self-deluding, unsustainable expansion built upon paper profits and a commitment to keep the music playing lest the participants discover that there aren't enough chairs.

We might do well to simply slow down, as Pablo Neruda suggests in his poem, "Keeping Quiet":
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
In ecologies, just as in economies, you simply cannot keep moving and growing and developing and mining your capital, assuming infinitely available resources and a natural environment of such unfailing elasticity that it will swallow our effluent forever and continue to provide a steady supply of resources into the bargain.

In his Critique of Judgment, Immanuel Kant stated that human beings would never be able to comprehend the deep details of the living world. "It is absurd," he wrote "for men to make any such attempt or to hope that another Newton will arise in the future, who shall make comprehensible by us the production of a blade of grass according to natural laws which no design has ordered." A few decades later, Darwin emerged as precisely that impossible Newton of grass.

Two centuries after Kant, free-market economists continue to revel in a version of Kant's error, claiming that we will never understand the complexities of markets and will therefore never be able to manage them effectively. They insist that we must simply let the magic of the market take over, whereupon, in the words of Adam Smith, even though each participant "intends only his own gain … he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention."

Smith was thinking of social benefit, but his approach has been expanded to include a typically unspoken but widely assumed subordination of ecological costs to presumed economic payoff: Don't worry, we are told, about exploiting the world ecosystem, unbalancing its capacity to absorb insults—just go, go, go, or, as in the mind-bogglingly inane chant of the McCain-Palin ticket during the 2008 elections, "drill, baby, drill."

Although part of my argument is, in fact, a criticism of market-based capitalism, it is not an endorsement of its traditional alternative, communism. In communist countries, production goals have typically replaced profit maximization as the "bottom line," leading, if anything, to even-more-blinkered thinking and environmental devastation. I recall international meetings during the 1980s, attended by environmentalists from capitalist and communist countries, each naïvely expecting that the grass would be ecologically greener on the other side of the ideological fence. Under capitalism, it has been said, man exploits man, whereas under communism, it's the reverse. Either way, the environment has been the real loser.

The Communist Manifesto can be seen not simply as an indictment of capitalism, but also as a breathless paean to its effectiveness. Marx and Engels believed that industrial capitalism had solved the problem of production, leaving only the question of fair distribution. Thus far capitalism has largely been able to regroup and find new avenues for economic growth, even following severe depressions such as those of the 1870s, 1890s, and the 1930s. This time around, however, the ecological demands of this particular Ponzi scheme may be leaving us with a dangerously depleted world.

The standard response of pro-growth economists—and let's face it, nearly all economists are pro-growth—is that innovation generates concrete value, producing healthy growth and ultimately compensating for any resource depletion. And to some extent, critics have largely been kept on the defensive by such compensatory innovations as steam engines, internal combustion, nuclear energy, a previously unimagined petroleum economy, chemical, bio- and nano-engineering, and so forth.

But let's imagine, say, that tomorrow someone discovers a source of cheap, pollution-free, and inexhaustible energy. Even that extraordinary advance wouldn't diminish the fundamental Ponzi-nature of economic activity; at most, it would merely reset the time of reckoning, possibly making it even sooner, since with cheap—even free—energy, the exhaustion of other material resources would only accelerate; it would, for example, be cheaper to build and operate cars, home appliances, and so forth, which in turn would increase the demand for doing so, thereby increasing the rate at which nonrenewable resources used in their construction are consumed.

It is widely assumed that a healthy, clean environment is affordable only when a country's economy is strong. The reality is precisely the opposite: A strong economy is possible only when the environment on which it depends is healthy and strong. A related reality is that endless growth is literally impossible, for economies no less than for organisms, just as Ponzi schemes that depend on an endless supply of new subscribers are certain to be unsustainable.

It is a painful message, one that few of us—including those who self-righteously condemn Madoff and his Ponzi proclivities—are willing to embrace. As the American poet Richard Wilbur put it in "Epistemology":
We milk the cow of the world, and as we do
We whisper in her ear, "You are not true."
But it is true. And no amount of denial or wishful thinking will change the cow of the world into an infinitely productive, everlastingly dependable cash cow, an ecological teat that never dries up. Madoff presumably knew that, but kept sucking—and accumulating yet more suckers.

No one is innocent, and no one gets off the hook.

It is easy to point a finger at Charles Ponzi or Bernard Madoff, and even, perhaps, at their victims—much harder to recognize, as Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh has written, that we are all grass snakes, arms merchants, sea pirates. We are also Ponzis and Madoffs who profit from economic schemes that are fundamentally unsustainable and thus, in the deepest sense, frauds. Madoff eventually got 150 years in the slammer and worldwide derision. What's in store for the rest of us?
David P. Barash is a professor of psychology at the University of Washington. His most recent book, with Judith Eve Lipton, is "How Women Got Their Curves and Other Just-So Stories: Evolutionary Enigmas" (Columbia University Press, 2009).