Freaking Out Squares

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Was Kidnapped By A Band of Brigands and Held As the Love Slave to the Sultan of Adair!

And that, folks, is why I’ve been mostly incommunicado for the past two months. Except, of course, it isn’t.

There are a whole bunch of reasons I haven’t posted, most of them stupid or insane. I certainly haven’t been busy—god forbid my temp agency actually finds me work or something equally radical. Per usual, I thought it was my fault; after all, I let my first boss convince me that the reason one of our clients didn’t receive a UPS we sent him was because I failed to notify him that we’d sent the UPS, as if that immense blizzard in the Chicagoland area had nothing to do with it and she couldn’t have notified the guy herself, the fucking bitch. (Nota bene: I am NOT stupid, except when it comes to my involvement, however superficial, in things gone awry.) Anyway, unless my old belief that I emit evil cosmic vibes/have a scarlet letter “A” on my forehead/secrete noxious poisons is true, it’s not my fault that I can’t get work; it’s the economy, stupid. I went to two other temp agencies, one of which actually did manage to get me four days’ work at an exceptionally high pay rate, I think, for doing nothing except playing on the Internet and answering the phone. Since then, though, nada. Feh.

On the sort-of bright side, I found out that I am eligible for unemployment any week I work three days or fewer and gross less than $405.00. That’s kind of awesome, but dammit, I feel like such a slug. I don’t care if I am allegedly entitled to government handouts, er, public assistance; I still can’t get over my childhood conditioning that “bleeding” the “government” “dry” is sinful and selfish. As a pragmatic socialist (tm The Pirate), I am 100% in favor of the “government” (why the finger quotes? Watch the news, and I don’t mean Fox) establishing social programs to help those in need. That is its responsibility, particularly since it is also responsible, in no small part, for creating the conditions leading to the necessity of so many US citizens relying on public assistance just to be able to afford a box of Tuna Helper (and murdering Ethel Rosenberg in cold blood, the fuckers! Tell everybody!). As an overeducated, underemployed, over-privileged white chick, however, I just don’t think I have the same moral entitlement to public fundage—unless, of course, I get an NEA grant, which, come fucking on. But hoes got to eat too, so I’m taking it. And frankly, I think I’m a better cause to support than the Iraq war, ‘cause I’m gonna live forever, I’m gonna learn how to fly. So fuck you, RNC, Bible thumpers, and other assorted demons in and out of my head.

By the way, MS Word is telling me that “fundage” is not really a word. Maybe it isn’t. If one of you three readers would please let me know either way, I’d greatly appreciate it. I was distraught to learn from The Pirate that “healthful” is not a real word, and he’s…well, I was going to say he’s never wrong, but this one time we were talking about Auschwitz and he claimed it was liberated in April 1945 because that’s when most of the camps were liberated. That’s true, except the Auschwitz inmates were, um, lucky enough to have been liberated by the Russians on January 27, 1945. Where do I pick this stuff up?

Anyway. If my White Liberal Guilt failed to impress you, maybe this will: I was recently accepted into a troupe called The Actor’s Project, which is a sort of workshop/performance-oriented operation that culminates in a showcase at the end of the “semester” (since this is not technically an acting school, I don’t suppose that’s the proper term, but I don’t really know what else to call it). Ostensibly, casting agents and other Persons of Note show up at these things and baby, put your name in lights if they like you enough. Listen to your mother—those stage and movie people got there because they’re special. And whorish! Don’t forget whorish! Seriously, though, growing up in an epicenter of Rush Limbaugh fans and religious zealot guns nuts will fuck with your idealistic, artsy-fartsy head to the extent of convincing you 1) you have no chance of scoring any work, no matter how minute, as an actress, so why don’t you just get an accounting degree from Penn State Harrisburg and work for the PA State Legislature until you find a nice husband, which you won’t because 2) you’re a complete whore for wanting to break into acting in the first place! Don’t you know that life upon the wicked stage is not only never what a girl supposes, it’s roughly akin to Mary Magdalene’s original profession? Repent, sinner! Blow, Gabriel, blow! Sit down, you’re rockin’ the boat! (Oops, there I go with musical theatre references. That must mean I’m gay! Hee.)

I’ve also started writing for a film website called The Aspect Ratio, which affords me no guilt at all, because it’s writing, which requires brains, unlike prancing around on a stage with my tits a-bouncing like some WHORE! Also, it prevents me from taking up too much space in the physical world, which is a good thing for a woman (although, if you check out this article in the current issue of Bitch, female bloggers hardly dwell in some kind of latter-day feminist Eden). Actually, it’s been a lot of fun, not least because our “Best Films of the 1970s” list made IMDB and we received a lot of angry feedback for failing to post Chinatown and The Exorcist (we did), not to mention Rocky and Saturday Night Fever (hey, life’s a bitch, folks!). One fellow (how sexist—as if a woman couldn’t be equally idiotic!) claimed that Ingmar Bergman died in the 1960s, even though he was still making films in the 1970s. My, that’s a neat trick, along the lines of “I was walking down the street and I turned into a coffee shop”! And by the way, Bergman is alive and semi-well in Sweden; as of January 2007, he was recovering from hip surgery. How did I find this out? It’s the damnedest thing, but I looked his ass up on IMDB—the same place, presumably, that this Mensa member found our list. Oh, my brain, how she doth bleed.

Lest you think God’s in his heaven and all’s right with me (and we can’t have that—I HATE those fucking people, don’t you?), I spent about two weeks mired in a deep, paranoid depression engendered by shabby treatment at a couple of extras’ agencies I went to, which just plunged me right back into the early 1990s and my sixteen-year-old self, stuck playing Jan in Grease! because I was “too fat” to play Rizzo (side rant: Our director, who alternated between Coolest Teacher in School and Total Fucking Sexist Prick, was adamant that whomsoever he cast fit the character descriptions. It was my fucking luck that Rizzo was described as “thin, Italian-looking.” The part eventually went to a girl who fit both those criteria, but not before said director originally cast a blond soprano with baby fat. The FUCK? The only thing I can surmise is he thought our idiot townspeople would rip up the auditorium if this girl were not cast in a lead role. Thankfully, my friend MarkRickSteve, the student director, talked him out of it. I still got stuck playing Jan, alas) and the devastating realization that most of the public regarded me as some kind of tap-dancing fat minstrel instead of a Great Talent. Oh, yes, and that vomitrocious Blues Traveler song throbbing through my soul--does it matter which one? It got so bad, I refused to even post my picture on Friendster, choosing a shot of a proboscis monkey in its stead. Therapy helped; I am now defiantly proud to announce that my mug adorns both Friendster AND MySpace, although I still can’t get it to load here. So, if you want to see what I look like, click here. If you’re one of the date rapists with whom I attended middle school, high school, or college, and your sole interest in viewing my picture is so you can post some kind of ass-fuck comment about how I’m still an “ugly fat fucking bitch,” well, in the words of John Turturro in The Big Lebowski, don’t. Fuck. With Jesus! (Thanks to the guys and dolls—twitch!—who said nice things about my picture. You all were more instrumental in bringing me out of my black hole than you might think.)

I’ll be heading out of town on the evening of July 3 to visit my dear friend DJP in Flagstaff, whose thank-you gift for complimenting my headshot will be a private screening of The Star Wars Holiday Special and a bottle of medium-expensive whiskey. But I’m sure I’ll find something about which to foam at the mouth and fall over backward before then. Lucky us.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It's Been Almost Two Months...

...and this isn't even a "real" post, although I'm sure it's much more worthwhile and substantive than anything I have to say. Read it and weep--I'll pick up later this week. Oh, and thanks to the Pirate for sending me this.

June 18, 2007
White House can’t ‘cherry pick the laws it likes and the laws it doesn’t’
Posted 2:05 pm | Printer Friendly | Spotlight

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We’ve known for a while that the president has a nasty habit of issuing “signing
statements,” through which Bush tells Congress which parts of certain laws he’s
decided to ignore. Senate Pro Tem Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) and House Judiciary
Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) recently asked the non-partisan General
Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm, to look into how these
signing statements affect administration policy.

The GAO issued its report today.

Today, the nonpartisan General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report
which found that in a limited number of Presidential signing statements
examined, the Bush Administration failed to execute the law as instructed in
over 30 percent of the cases.

GAO researchers found signing statements in 11 of 12 appropriations acts in
fiscal year
2006 and examined a sample of 19 provisions with which the President
expressed concern in his signing statements. The President objected to, and
federal agencies failed to execute, public law in six of those cases - 30
percent of the total sample.

“The Administration is thumbing its nose at the law,” Conyers said. “This
study calls for an extensive review of these practices, something the
Administration has so far refused to do.”

Added Byrd, “The White House cannot pick and choose which laws it follows and
which it ignores. When a president signs a bill into law, the president signs
the entire bill. The Administration cannot be in the business of cherry picking
the laws it likes and the laws it doesn’t.”

It’s worth noting, as Paul Kiel emphasizes, that the GAO’s report said,
“Although we found the agencies did not execute the provisions as enacted, we
cannot conclude that agency noncompliance was the result of the President’s
signing statements.”

On this, the GAO is agnostic. In other words, we don’t know that the executive
branch failed to follow the law because of the signing statements; we only know
that the president issued a signing statement questioning certain provisions of
the law and then, lo and behold, the administration ignored those provisions.

And what kind of measures are we talking about?

Some of the most troubling instances that the GAO examined include:

- The Defense Department did not include separate budget justification
documents explaining how Iraq war funding was to be spent in its 2007 budget
request, as required by public law;

- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) did not submit a proposal
and expenditure plan for housing, as directed by Congress;

- Customs and Border patrol did not relocate its checkpoints in the Tucson
area every seven days, as directed by Congress.

The full report is online (.pdf).

Byrd concluded, “This GAO opinion underscores the fact that the Bush White House
is constantly grabbing for more power, seeking to drive the people’s branch of
government to the sidelines. Too often, the Bush Administration does what it
wants, no matter the law. It says what it wants, no matter the facts. We must
continue to demand accountability and openness from this White House to counter
this power grab.”

Sounds right to me.