25 years later

As Christy at Firedoglake has noted, it has been 25 years since the discovery of AIDS.

She chose to honor the occasion with a loving remembrance of an old friend who was killed by the disease.

The President chose to honor the occasion by beating the drum for more exclusion of gay men and women from full American citizenship.

I would like to create a small memorial here, if anyone else is inclined to join me, by mentioning the names of a friends who have passed. If you have lost a friend to AIDS related illness, mention his or her name in the comments, and please pass it on.

Phillip Joseph Pamlieri, died of AIDS-related illness in 1985.

I told you he was crazy

I stayed out of the whole “Jeff Goldstein is on drugs” thing as much as possible, mostly because several things went through my head when I saw him writing love poems to his klonopin prescription:

1. This guy might actually have some serious problems, besides his generally obnoxious fulmination.

2. It’s not nice to pick on people who are crazy.

3. And, after all, the motherfucker might be crazy.

I actually said as much here.

And, as I said in that entry, “Sow the wind…”

While I was taking a bit more phlegmatic position on the sport of poking-it-with-a-stick-to-see-what-sort-of-funny-sound-it-makes, I was afforded a perspective on the proceedings one can enjoy from the bleachers, and I thought…. “This can’t end well.” Stopping in at Protein Wisdom one afternoon, I skimmed what was there, and, honestly, Goldstein didn’t appear to have much left but the Koolaid in his bucket and his rage.

You can’t back a guy into a corner and not expect him to come out swinging anything and everything he can get his hands on.

And boy, did he. Which brings us to the moral of the story, I suppose.

No person is more dangerous than a man with nothing left to lose.

I have to admit that I lost the thread on this whole semiotics and intention argument, but it certainly appeared that whatever ground Goldstein had gained through his tendentious arguments and academic esoterica was rapidly being undermined by someone with actual credentials and some experience in the trade. So, y’know, he ended the discussion the only way he knew how. “Fuck you, I’m going after your job and your family.” Nice one, Jeff.

However Goldstein tries to dress it up, outing someone’s family and place of employment is intimidation. I think that’s CLEAR TO EVERYONE BUT HIM and his behaviorally-challenged horde of commenters. (Has anyone else noticed that some of the commenters who do the dirtiest work have a remarkably similar tone to the proprietor himself? I suspect that if one were to undertake the odious task of sorting through the tidal wave of invective, the “I didn’t say it, one of my commenters did! And I refuse to be held responsible for it!” dodge would be revealed to be a fairly transparent feint. Of course, I could be completely wrong about this. The world fairly TEEMS with idiots and assholes.)

I do not know how much this might actually impact the Thersites Family’s lives, because I don’t really know what sort of mischief the denizens of Pastelandia are capable of getting up to.

I have actually chosen not to be those people who lives his life as if there was a slavering horde of murderers, islamofascist terrorists, stalkers, cyber-thiefs and muggers waiting just on the other side of my concealed-carry permit. I refuse to be held hostage by fear.

However, no one has ever “outed” me in an attempt to intimidate me. If you read my weblog closely, it’s not hard to figure out who I am, where I work and what band I am in. Easy for me to say, however, since I am a pretty big guy, my job is fairly secure and I don’t have a two-year-old.

I have had to live with intimidation, though, albeit when I was too young to really comprehend what was going on.

Back in the late 1970s, my mother took on the Klan. Long story short, there was a rash of home invasion murders in the neighborhood where we lived. This was a different time, you must understand, in the only recently desegregated South. The victims of the Columbus Stocking Strangler were exclusively little old white ladies. The Ku Klux Klan, perhaps not realizing that they were no longer held in the high esteem that they had once been, offered to maintain their concept of social order by patrolling our neighborhood in trucks, while toting high-powered rifles and two-way radios. (Um…. Minutemen, anyone?)

ANYWAY, my mother, Civil Rights Activist and firebrand that she was, circulated a petition saying (essentially) “Look, we don’t want a bunch of trigger-happy yahoos driving around shooting deer rifles at any young black man who happens to wander through our neighborhood.” 40,000 people signed it. The Mayor accepted it and instructed the police to run off anyone with more guns than teeth prowling around our neighborhood. You can imagine how this went over with the Honky Brigade.

The Stocking Strangler was eventually caught with no help from the Klan. However we had to live with police protection for a few months. I was too young to really comprehend why we were being watched by the police. I didn’t connect the killing of one of our family’s pets with the whole affair until years later. (My folks did their best to keep me blissfully unaware of what was going on around us.)

But, y’know, this whole flap between Protein Wisdom and Metacomments sorta reminds me of that. “You may have won this round, Batman…. but how do you like THIS?”

Resorting to threatening a family’s well-being is truly the act of a scoundrel. If Jeff Goldstein didn’t intend to intimidate Thersites and his family, then WHY does he keep publishing Thers’ work info and real name on his weblog? Dude. Knock it off. You’re starting to look like even MORE of an asshole.

lamest blogger ever

Been super busy getting ready to leave town to play a show in Huntsville, Alabama. (Woot! Space Camp, alright!)

I have to say that getting back into the van and traveling on questionable equipment at insane hours does not thrill me like it used to, but life is what it is, and you don’t sell records by sitting around playing video games.

I think Michele thinks I am joking when I asked her if Music Hates You could play in her living room. I ain’t joking, Michele. September looks good for us.

I should get back here at about 0630 and then I am going to finish scraping and priming our little farmhouse.

I should be a real basket case by this time tomorrow. Maybe I will blog something. Then we can all laugh about it later.

Garden Porn, Installment 1 for June 1st, 2006

Let’s begins with a few contrasts…

here is a mild-mannered tomato that sprouted from last year’s tomato seeds that were in the dirt. This photo was taken about two weeks ago, roughly. It’s happy and healthy, but not… y’know, scary…

Now here is that same tomato plant today, trying to eat the Missus:

notice that the white pvc stake is no long visible.

Now, you may know the story of Squashzilla. Squashzilla was a volunteer from the compost pile. We knew it was some kind of gourd, but we weren’t sure which. Well, here is Squashzilla two weeks ago. Think of this photo as “Squashzilla biding its time…”

Here it is, minding its own business and leaving the tomatoes next door alone:

That was two weeks ago.

We have since determined that Squashzilla is actually a pumpkin plant. We have renamed it Pumpking Kong. Here it is, making its move:
(this was taken today)

the tomatoes were hurriedly writing notes to their loved ones in the dirt, because it was clear, unless something drastic happened, they were about to be crushed by Pumpking Kong.

here is the missus doing battle with Pumpking Kong and heroically saving the tomatoes:

Additionally, we have six foot tall green bean plants:

Here’s Mrs. Dog next to the green beans:

here is the collards patch:

The cucumber plants are flowering:

sweet potatoes are shooting out runners:

and “How,” you Southern Folk may ask, are the tomatoes doing?”

Oh, not bad.

Check out the Romas:

their neighbors are ticking right along too:

Last, for this installment anyway, here’s our fig tree:

The dirt we got from our friend Nicki is some magic stuff. We have not used any fertilizer or pesticides anywhere in the garden. So far it’s just been good dirt and water.

Come play in the dirt with us if you want. You’re invited.

I am SHOCKED! SHOCKED!!!

Ok, not really. But fuck these people. Why isn’t this on the front page of the NY Times?

– The Rubber Stamp Republican Congress still refuses to ease Medicare restrictions for children in the Gulf Coast region, despite the fact that there is a substantial health care crisis for children in the region, stemming from infections and other issues arising from prolonged exposure to pathogens from flood waters, stress, and other factors. (1/3 of all children living in FEMA trailer parks have been found to have a chronic illness.)

– 40,000 families are still waiting for some sort of housing assistance, meanwhile there are 10,000 FEMA trailers still parked in the mud, just sitting there unused.

– Contractors with a political connection to the Bush Administration were paid up to 15 times the actual cost of jobs contracted.

I mean, did I miss the explosion of media coverage of that last bullet item? This is Malaria Republic stuff, here, isn’t it?

The Bush Administration: Building a Bridge to Uganda!

Back at the office

Still feeling a little rough from traveling and I have had a nasty little chest cold for about a week, now.

We got home just after sundown last night, and explored the garden by flashlight. Amazing things happened in our absence. I will post pictures. You’re not gonna believe this, though.

Getting my feet down and trying to get some work done, but I must admit, here are the three things I would rather be doing, in order:

1. Working in the garden.
2. Working on the Dart.
3. Painting the house.

Brother in arms, Noah from Music Hates You, scraped and primed one side of my house while I was out of town. It looks so good, I want to get on with doing the rest. NOW.
We’ll get some more done this coming weekend.

Thanks, Noah.