Sunday, December 31, 2006

James Brown memorial service


It’s supposed to be all high art and everything, but even this commoner's ear can tell an orgasm when it hears one. Religious music? Yeah, right.


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Bach - Magnificat - 07 - Fecit potentiam

Saturday, December 30, 2006


A friend of my youth, Katie Wolf, said something about beauty pageants that I still find amusing. I guess Donald Trump’s recent issues with his Miss Whatever made me think of it.

Katie said that when she and her schoolgirl friends would watch Miss America or Miss USA on TV, they would become concerned about the talent competition. What would be their “talents.”

They’d hate to get out on the stage and look stupid, like the contestants whose talent is singing but who really can’t sing.

What I find so charming is the assumption among the young girls that their beauty, when it got to that point, would easily qualify them for the finals. It was the talent part that concerned them.

When I was a nightwatchman at a college dorm, I got to know a girl resident who was the reigning Miss Omaha. Tight little body with big boobs, blond hair, and the clearest, most consistent complexion I have ever seen.

She'd sit at the front door with me sometimes as I checked IDs of kids coming in. She wasn’t really part of any clique, I think she was sort of to herself. She was very level headed. Her attitude was that beauty titles and all were just something that happened to people with looks like hers, no biggie.

What impressed me most was she said she was already a certified gemologist, something about part time jobs, or relatives in the business got her started.

She tried to explain some of the details about precious and semi-precious but I was too left wing to care about jewels. Now I’m a sucker for beautiful stones. The dancing slaves in my new musical will be clad only in strands of rice pearls, and diamond toe and finger rings.

And I tell Pud that if he really wants me to forgive him for saving my life, he’ll give my something nice from Van Cleef & Arpels, neat web site. Rubies are always appropriate.

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Friday, December 29, 2006


A San Francisco Police Officer was buried today with full honors. He had been shot to death while apprehending an escaped convict.

Special to me is that he was killed just a few blocks from my house and from SFWILLIE’S BLOG’s operations center.

The escaped convict had been committing burglaries and robberies in our neighborhood. When he realized he’d been spotted, the perp ran into the garage of a nearby house by kicking down the door. Officer Bryan Tuvera followed the guy into the garage and got shot. The perp was then killed by Officer Tuvera’s partner.
Officer Tuvera died later at S.F. General.

The escaped convict was a bad guy doing bad things, and I or Pud or any of our staff could have been the next victim. Officer Tuvera was very brave and took his job of protecting us seriously. He remains a good example to us all. He was just a young guy.

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In western history women and girls have been restricted from the professions of singing and acting. Soprano voices came from boys and castrati.

The idea that the ruling class could castrate boys to enhance their (the ruling class’) musical experience is abhorrent to us civilized people. According to this article, a successful castrato was nobody’s slave.

Now that women and girls can participate equally, what use is there for boy sopranos? Probably none. The differences in singing skills between boys and grownup female sopranos are chasmatic.

Given today’s child protective laws there is not enough time between when a boy becomes trainable and when his voice changes, to teach a boy to sing arias. Intonation is iffy. Phrasing tends to be rote. They can’t support low notes. All this evidenced in the video below, and this kid is one of the best. According to the blurb, he was in his last few months of sopranohood. (First we hear how a trained female sings the aria.)

Boy sopranos are appropriate for talent shows, not for high ticket concert halls, as evidenced by lack of audience demand. Today, frequently, we find female sopranos performing boy’s roles.

Boy choirs, however, seem to remain useful.

The skills needed for choral work are considerably less. A well trained boy choir can hold it’s own technically. And the sound is distinctive.

There are differences between boys and girls in the development of the vocal apparatus that accounts for the different sound.

A boy’s voice is like a calliope, wild, inaccurate, shrill, and thrillingly optimistic. A good director can smooth over the wild, inaccurate, and shrill, leaving only the heart lifting optimism.

Here’s an internet radio station where you can get your fill of trebbies.

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Edita Gruberova - Der Hölle Rache (Queen of the Night)

Robin Schlotz aria

Tölzer Knabenchor

Thursday, December 28, 2006

botynotes: ISLAND IN THE SUN

Looking for some tropical music to warm this dark day I found the nice Harry Belafonte clip.

Pud says I should "turn up the fucking thermostat."

It brings back memories from my BOTY (boy of the year) phase when I was eight and nine years old and my family lived in North Hollywood.
Almost every weekend my brother and I were dumped at the El Portal for a double-bill matinee. Admission was 25 cents each, and we each received 25 cents for candy. So for $1.00 my folks got an afternoon alone. My brother and I thought it was a great deal. We loved the movies.

Some of the pictures were kid-oriented, but some weren’t.

I especially remember seeing Island in the Sun and thinking it was probably for grownups. There was still the concept of “miscegenation” in those days. Here’s the plot summary from IMDb.

Island in the Sun (1957)
Set on a fictitious island in the Caribbean during colonial British rule. It focuses on the life of a young charismatic and handsome black male with political aspirations. He finds himself confused on returning home when his romantic liaison with a white female tends to conflict with his political views. As rumor has it an interracial screen kiss caused quite a commotion in the U.S. when the film was released. The plot is further strengthened by a look at the lives of a white ex-pat family also living on the island. The family has to deal with problems of infidelity, racism and murder.

Summary written by Warren D. Mottley {}

Even scarier, the cast included Joan Collins.

Still, it's a nice song.

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Harry Belafonte


The earthly remains of Gerald Ford are going on tour. Likewise those of James Brown.

The most famous venue scheduled for Ford’s corpse is the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, for James Brown’s it’s the Apollo Theater.

I told Pud to draw the two routes on a US map so we could see them crisscross. Pud told me to paint a word picture instead. At least that’s what Pud meant, what he said was something about kissing his ass. He's totally in this "I'm a Yanomami" mode lately. So I had to do it myself.

The first figure shows the itineraries of the two coffins, Ford’s in red, Brown’s in blue.

The second figure shows the path taken by JFK’s coffin, which we see being loaded in Dallas and unloaded in Washington. Note that the final resting place of this coffin is somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean off the continental shelf.

It is impossible to conceive a rational and innocent reason for deepsixing this important piece of evidence in a still unsolved murder. We must conclude that the motive was sinister.

There is much dispute about multiple coffins and multiple bodies being autopsied. Who knows how much if any of JFK’s actual remains are buried at Arlington. It is a matter of record that JFK’s brain is NOT buried at Arlington, it just went missing some time after the autopsy.

I think they buried JFK in Arlington in order to make any exhumation effort a federal case.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006


They aren’t telling us the cause of death of former U.S. president Gerald Ford.

I don’t think there’s anything nefarious, but the whole issue of death on the desert is kind of murky.

In the dry heat of the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage etc.) the process of dieing is different. It’s more like a slow mummification in which the exact moment of death is impossible to determine.

Whether or not an old Rancho Miragian is dead is strictly a judgment call. In fact, what the doctors call “deeming a person dead,” is a gentle cousin of euthanasia.

Anyway, Gerald Ford has been deemed dead.

His major accomplishment as president is that he didn’t start any wars.

Otherwise, the man was a disgrace.

Investigators claim that when Gerald Ford was on the Warren Commission he acted as J. Edgar Hoover’s eyes and ears. To his dieing day he defended a report which 80% of Americans do not believe.

The people who killed JFK got away with it, partly due to Gerald Ford’s efforts. He was clearly an accessory after the fact in a presidential assassination.

His next significant act was to pardon Richard Nixon, not for any particular crime, but for any crime he may have committed. Only a stooge like Jerry could sign such a document. Again, accessory after the fact.

Just like playing center in football, big, affable Gerry Ford was willing to get down and get dirty for the team, and he always came up smiling. So all his crook politician friends loved him.

He was a good soldier in the army of evil.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006


James Brown made it to 73, amazing!

Whenever I think of James Brown I remember the story of an inspection of his prison cell (I think it was his second stretch) turning up $35,000.00 in cash.

Pud thinks it makes perfect sense. “They don’t take credit cards in prison,” he explained as if I was dense.

A couple of neighborhood girls, maybe nine and eleven, black and wiry with tons of energy, would visit our flat in the Haight Ashbury when I was a student hippy, maybe 1970. They sort of came with the place.

They dropped by because we let them smoke cigarettes (byo), and they regaled us with stories of their adventures, Deirdre and Cici.

One time I asked them who was their favorite singer, without hesitation they said James Brown.

Hillary Clinton, as far as I can tell from googling around, supports the death penalty. Her only claim to fame is that she so thoroughly fucked up single payer healthcare reform that the issue’s been dead for fifteen years.

Way to go, Hillary.

Presumably Hillary supports the death sentence imposed on Saddam Hussein.

Autocrats who commit mass murder are the toughest case for anti-death penalty folks to argue against. Like the B-movie man-eating tiger for whom once having tasted human blood nothing else will do, so deposed autocrats want nothing except to regain power.

The only way to assure that Saddam will NOT regain power in Iraq is to kill him. Opponents of capital punishment calculate it’s worth the risk.

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Monday, December 25, 2006


We hear the inevitable stories about battlefield cessation of hostilities on Christmas Day. Armies that had been trying to annihilate each other, stop for twenty-four hours so they can celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Peace.

Next day they resume the slaughter.

Let us remember that an important victory in America’s War of Independence came in 1776 from a sneak attack launched by George Washington ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!!

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Christmas is about kids—trying to get the grownups to stop fighting, at least in this SP video.

Best wishes from SFWILLIE’S BLOG.

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South Park - The Spirit of Christmas

Sunday, December 24, 2006

O Holy Night - Aled Jones


The GLTF (Gay/Lesbian Tennis Federation) has a bylaw that prohibits the use of phone numbers and/or email addresses from its 300-member roster for commercial purposes.

I received a phone call years ago from a member I knew only slightly. He wasn’t very direct, so I feared he was going to ask for a date. Turns out he was starting a new career as an investment broker and he wanted to handle my portfolio.

When I explained that my portfolio consisted mainly of unused postage stamps, he quickly got off the phone.

Regardless of any civil law, or club bylaw, it’s basic bad manners to use clubmates’ contact information that way.

It happened again yesterday, almost Christmas Eve. This time it’s spam email disguised as a Christmas card from a couple of GLTF members. I know it’s spam and not a personal greeting because I’ve never actually met either half of the couple.

Also I think it must be spam because they include logos of their businesses, and, at the bottom of the page there's a copyright line. There's even an Opt-Out link at the very bottom. Come on! What kind of Christmas card includes an opt-out link?

This is annoying enough. But the content of the message is what really disturbed me. It is so unflattering. Art-historically it's a cross between Grant Wood and Diane Arbus.

And it hammers us once again with the bittersweet message, that Gay Is No Longer Cool.

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“Forget the insipidity of their choice,” Pud said, “it’s absolutely outrageous that Time Magazine should have named it’s Person of the Year already. The year isn’t over yet!

“Like, say, I announce the cure for cancer tomorrow,” Pud proposes reasonably, “would Time re-think their choice? What, would they make me wait to be POY for 2007?

“It’s like we may as well hibernate for the rest of the year,” Pud waved in disgust.

SFWILLIE’S BLOG will not announce it’s own choice for Person of the Year until the year is complete. So those of you who can find the cure for cancer, or who can broker a mid-east peace, don’t wait till after the first of the year. Do it now. SFWILLIE’S BLOG will recognize your achievement timely.

“Screw Time Magazine,” Pud eloquented.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006


A biography of Pud in now available. Click the Who Is Pud link in the right column.

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Y B Gd

To and from my Palm Springs (mid-week) Weekend, I had fly-by visits with my three cousins in L.A, two to and one from. My first-cousins are the kindest, friendliest, most honest people in the world. One cousin had grandkids, teenage boys, visiting from Alaska for Christmas and I was curious to meet them, but the timing didn’t work out. They were out miniature golfing.

I would have quizzed them on the Bong-hits-for-Jesus free speech controversy in their state, so maybe it’s just as well I missed them.

I did a little thought experiment—what advice, assuming we’d never meet again, could I give them? Here’s the result.

Why Be Good

Being good is a necessary condition for happiness here on earth. It doesn’t matter whether or not there is an afterlife. Happiness here on earth, and in the afterlife are the same thing.

Any advice to be unhappy here on earth in order to achieve happiness in the afterlife is totally bogus. Happiness is happiness is happiness.

St Finbar's, County Cork.

When St Finbar died, the sun didn't set for three weeks.

Pud says find something more comfortable than this to sit on.

So, why does being good bring happiness here on earth?

-It reduces shame and remorse.

-It allows you to associate with other good people.

You’ll find that good people tend to associate with each other and to avoid the company of non-good people.

The opportunity to associate with good people is the primary feature of heaven.

The restriction of associating only with non-good people is the primary feature of hell.

Q. What is “being good”?

A. The golden rule. Everyone knows that.

The golden rule is repeated in the second of Christ’s two great commandments.

Overlooked is Christ’s first great commandment: Love God with your whole heart, whole soul, etc. What the heck does that mean?

It means we should

-Accept the physical world as we see it and not reject it in favor of some promise or story about some unseen “better world.”

-Explore all resources and exploit them to create good feeling. People who try to create good feeling tend to associate with each other, etc.

So, morality isn’t all that bad. Usually morality is seen as a burden or fetter. That’s because usual morality is promulgated by rich assholes who don’t want us stealing their shit.

True morality, be good and try your best to have fun and create good feeling, is meant to be a formula for happiness, real happiness, with lots of sex, and rock and roll, and plenty of bong hits for Jesus.

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Example: People Having Fun

Monday, December 18, 2006


“Were we ever that cute?” I asked, after showing Pud the video below.

“Tough question,” Pud said, “but, if we’d had mousse, definitely!

“These kids look a lot smarter than us. It would have taken us a week to put this video together. It looks like they did it during a break from their calculus homework.

“And we weren’t nearly as relaxed.”
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dazo and cammy you've got a friend


I’m checking out Palm Springs for a couple of days. Take a look.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006


A short life in a tanktop beats a long life in a parka.
P. Wilson
I was probably six years old when I started listening to pop music on the radio.

My first favorite song was Love Letters in the Sand, sung by Pat Boone.

Hey, I was just a little kid!

It was 1955. Pat hadn’t gone politico-religious yet and, considering that this recording marked the apex of his career, my choice was almost even astute. Also, the heavy reverb is irresistible to a boy that age.

Anyway, it’s been so mf cold and damp around here, as the northern hemisphere heads toward the darkest of days, I needed a reminder of a better time.

Heartbreak’s not so bad, if you can go around in shorts and flipflops.

That dikey Canadian gal has a contemporary xmas song that uses the word Christmas as a verb, as in “I’ll be Christmasing with you.” Fingernails/blackboard. What does it mean, “to Christmas” with someone? Kinky?

Curt Hall, of The Authorities, used to say, “San Francisco has the worst weather in the world.” It’s obvious untruth was always encouraging.

Nonetheless, I’ve decided to solstice in Palm Springs. I hope I can remember how to act gay.

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Pat Boone - Love Letters In The Sand


Notwithstanding the reverence and false dignity we’re supposed to apply to the situation, death is a messy biological process. Those who have watched an elderly person slowly shut down will enjoy today’s article in the Washington Post about pacemakers that refuse to let a patient’s heart stop.

The whole DNR thing is heavy enough, ordering medical staff not to resuscitate a patient who has stopped breathing. Apparently, if a patient has a pacemaker, the family has to take positive action to get the pacemaker turned off.

With advances in medicine and in litigeousness, patients will soon need permission to die. The science of saving lives becomes the science of extended torture.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006


I found another clip of South Park’s Origins of Mormonism number. Two days later it was no longer available. There are still plenty of South Park clips available, but not that one. I wonder why.

The clip tells us what the Book of Mormon isn’t, i.e. inspired by God.

This neat website,, critiques the Book of Mormon from an historical, scientific, logical point of view. The long list of anachronisms are hysterically funny. This website contends that the basic story of the BOM was ripped off from a novel written in 1812.

Pud wants me to tell you that the most honest, reliable pot dealer he’s ever known was a Mormon. “Good people,” Pud says. Also, Pud wants you all to notice the hand on the hip.

I asked myself why I delight in ridiculing new religions such as Scientology and Mormonism. I think it’s because they take on the trappings of traditional, tribally based religions. The Xenu cosmology for instance. Or the angel Maroni? It seems to me if you’re want fairy tales you should go with those that have stood the test of time.

The Bible is like Mother Goose and the Brothers Grimm. These new religions are like Barney and Friends.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

White Men CAN Jump


For an average, nothing-too-special, salt of the earth kind of straight male, probably his highest vocation is going to be fatherhood. Raising a kid is a complex task that baffles many men, geniuses and sub-geniuses alike, moguls and minions alike.

Not only is fatherhood our guy’s highest vocation, but it’s pretty much expected and desired by parents and others in the straight oriented world. For many men, fatherhood is sort of optional, but sort of not.

Now here come these fancy gay men who want to get married to each other and become fathers if they wish. For them, becoming a father is a lifestyle choice, something that fits into a fulfilling life.

For our average guy, fatherhood doesn’t fit into his life, his life fits into fatherhood.

So I sympathize some with our average guy who may not be all that enthusiastic about gay marriage and all

Also, the process of regular fertilization means that each of us could be the product of a really great fuck, as in “Dad, where did I come from?”

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An easy shape, but what a word for L-swallowers like me and Tom Brokaw!

Even squares can get a little tipsy.

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Recently I was taken to the races. A friend had bid on Turf Club tickets in a silent auction, and won.

I had been to the races only once since my childhood. I have no interest in gambling so it never crosses my mind.
My dad loved to go to the track. Partly it’s an Irish thing. A first cousin of mine is so rabid she plans here vacations around major horse races. She been to all the famous American tracks, seen the triple crown races.

When my family lived in LA we went to Santa Anita and Hollywood Park maybe a couple dozen times. It was fairly boring for us kids, but, for something that had to be endured, it wasn’t so bad.

During the years we were going, 1956-1959, we got to see one of the most beloved race horses in American history, Silky Sullivan, whose spine tingling, mad dash, come from behind victories were legend. I was there when he came from 26 lengths behind to win the Santa Anita Derby.

Those days, especially on Sundays at Santa Anita, it could be a dress up affair. As I recall, my brother and I wore our church clothes with little clip-on bow ties.

So the trip to Bay Meadows last week brought back a lot of memories.

I was surprised to see how cheap it is. Parking is $4.00, general admission is $3.00 per person. The program costs $2.25, but the same information is available on the internet for free. And the feeding opportunities are numerous and moderately priced. And, you can place a bet for as little as $1.00.

Thoroughbreds are beautiful animals. The Thoroughbred Racing Association has a great looking website.

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My mom’s scoliosis was an innate trait that affected her behavior.

A large part of my career was spent applying the discoveries of Skinner et al in behavior science to the world of corporate training. My boss was an “almost radical behaviorist.” Behaviorists ascribe all non-random responses to operant conditioning.

Behaviorists argue that little if anything is innate, and almost all responses are learned. There are obviously responses that are involuntary, such as breathing. It’s impossible to “hold my breath until I die.” Irises widen and narrow per lighting changes without our even thinking about it.

The two interactive responses which behaviorists admit to be innate are suckling and grasping. These responses would be considered “hard-wired.”

In my lifetime much progress has been made sorting out nature and nurture, or hard-wired versus learned. Much schizophrenia has been reclassified from a religious, or moral, or psychological condition, to one of neurochemistry.

Most schizophrenics don’t need exorcism or talk therapy, they just need to take their pills.

Non-behaviorists have investigated the perceived phenomena of innate personality traits. Through TV reports and general discussion I’ve been aware of this field of thought for some time, but for this blogpost I’m relying on Wikipedia and the other sites linked.

These psychologists have identified nine traits which they believe to be innate, or hard-wired, as in the following chart.

Other psychologists have grouped these nine traits (hard for anyone to remember them all) into three general types. A fourth type, which includes a third of the population, is “Other” or “mixed."

If this is true, it comes as a relief.

Our perceptions are correct, there actually are such things as “difficult” and “easy” babies.

The hard-wiredness of temperament removes responsibility from both parent and child.

A child isn’t difficult because of some shortcoming of the parents. And the child isn’t being “bad.” The child is difficult simply because some children are difficult. And, supposedly, there’s help available for raising difficult children.

The fact that smart people are looking into ways to help parents and their children to interact happily gives me a good feeling. Child development professionals tend to be tres sympatique at least as compared to, say, dieticians (sorry but it’s true). This guy for instance.

This website belongs to a shrink specializing in adoptive family relationships, who himself had a “difficult” child.

A nuclear physicist I worked for briefly, who was himself undistinguished in appearance, had pictures on his office walls of a beautiful wife and two good looking boy’s. When I complimented him on the photos he said matter of factly, “Yeah, the younger boy had some developmental issues, but now he’s ok.”

Lucky kid.

I see no reason why the hard-wiredness of temperament can’t eventually be modified medically, as we do with the hard-wiredness of schizophrenia.

Innate response styles must be caused by neurochemicals. While the field is in it’s infancy, we can expect neurochemistry to eliminate eventually the “difficult” child.

My friend says this is Brave New World.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

South Park -- The Difficult Child

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I've added three political analysis links to the right column.
All three sites seem substantial, intellectually honest, and progressive, at least to my initial perusals. If you can guess to whom "the smirking chimp" refers, your name will be entered in a drawing for a fabulous prize.
Check'em out.

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Good old Alexander Cockburn! He just won’t let us progressives relax!

Here he pricks the bubble of hope Barack has created. Cockburn thinks it’s mere flatus.

He won’t let us dream. But REM sleep deprivation causes psychosis. We’re stuck.

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That wheelchair guy and other great scientific minds are telling us that colonization of space is the only hope for survival of the human species.

They’ve done their calculations and charts and projections and conclude that the earth will be uninhabitable either because of nuclear war or because quickly doubling world population will fully consume or pollute earth’s life sustaining resources, soon.

We’ve fucked up planet earth, now let’s fuck up the rest of the universe.

Leaving planet earth in order to establish “civilization” elsewhere is like Ted Haggard, after getting fucked in the ass (pardon the harshness) and snorting a couple extra lines of crystal meth, going out and preaching against homosexuality.

If the human species can’t survive on this beautiful garden called earth, it doesn’t deserve to survive at all.

This is it. Last chance.

Pud thinks I’m getting rantious, but he can go fuck himself.

“Don’t worry,” Pud said calmingly, “the physics of space travel amount to a virtual quarantine of earthlings.

“To that extent you could say there actually is some sort of intelligent design. There certainly are other garden spots in the universe, but we physically can’t get to them, nor should we. It’s like an intergalactic public health measure.”

“So don’t worry,” Pud concluded, “we’re all gonna die here and take planet earth with us.”

That’s one reason I tolerate Pud, he knows how to cheer me up.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Augusto Pinochet introduced the usage of the word “disappear” as a transitive verb.

Now he’s going to get disappeared, in a flash.

According to AFP:

“Pinochet's remains will be cremated at an undisclosed location. His son has said the family do not want a burial because they fear Pinochet's enemies would vandalize his grave.”

Pud says, “No entity on earth, private or governmental, has the resources and/or desire to protect his grave. Hey, kid, doesn’t that tell you something?”

Another line that jumped out:

“The priest read a service for the general, a Roman Catholic who once said he had been called by God to lead Chile.”

Pud says, “Hey, Catholics, way to go!”

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Monday, December 11, 2006


I gave the Elvis version, a 45rpm, to a friend, Christmas 1957. I was eight.

I like both versions posted below.

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Elvis Blue Christmas [1957]

porky pig - blue christmas


Whatever Pud was on, I didn’t want any.

“Last year I asked for a Fra Angelico,” he said, “something small and portable, you know, one of those little wood panel thingies.

“When the data entry elf typed F-R, the computer auto-filled FRUITCAKE and the stupid elf accepted it. I wonder, in the history of the universe, has anyone ever asked Santa for a fruitcake?

“So I got a goddamn fruitcake!

“We all know that the Donner party resorted to cannibalism when they got snowed in by an unrelenting Sierra winter. Less well known is that the group had a dozen fruitcakes that went uneaten. ‘Why?’ you ask.

“So, I returned it with a nasty note. And you know what I got instead? A bottle of goddamn Frangelico.

“This is the worst liqueur ever produced (unless you include Benedictine, which is sold in some coutries as an industrial solvent).

“Remember when poor Kitty Dukakis was hospitalized after relapsing with rubbing alcohol? She was so desperate that the rubbing alcohol looked potable.

“I have it on good authority that in the house at the time there were two bottles of Frangelico. A discriminating drinker, Kitty went for the rubbing alcohol.

“This year I asked for a Picot.

“I’m hoping for a pie.”

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Sunday, December 10, 2006


If a tort is tortious, then a rant is rantious. P.Wilson
Chicago this time. High rise. Attorney-targets. This story doesn’t give a clear death toll, but the perp, Joe Jackson, was one of them.

Joe felted that his main attorney-target had ripped him off on an invention-patent deal. Joe, thought of himself as having invented some sort of toilet arrangement thingie for trucks. Joe had a rap sheet: weapons, stolen vehicle, disorderly.

It is unknown if Joe had a successful track record as an inventor, or if the toilet thingie was his first.

So, chances are that the injustice Joe felt and attributed to the attorney-target could have been wholly imaginary or grossly exaggerated.

Conventional wisdom says that Joe’s action could never be justified. I certainly agree that the default response to felt injustice should not be violence.

But the flip side is impunity for wrongdoers.

School shootings that result from bullying are a clear example. Bullying at school can involve serious felonies that go unrecognized, conspiracy for example. When two kids act together to commit a crime, say vandalism or malicious mischief, that’s conspiracy. And conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor is a felony. And none of these crimes are ever prosecuted.

When a kid enters a public school the protections of criminal law are suspended.

What the fuck gives two kids the right to conspire to commit multiple crimes with the goal of making another kid’s life miserable?

Those bullies should be in jail and the authorities, civil, criminal, school, should defend the victim. Failing all that, what’s the victim to do?

The failure of school administrators to stop, and/or prosecute bullying is another example of people who want a regular paycheck but don’t want to do the difficult parts of their jobs. Lazy fat assholes

I’ll weep no tears for bullies.

And kids who get caught in the crossfire? Take your grievance to the school administrators. They knew there was a problem and they did nothing. And, if they didn’t know there was a problem, then they should resign because they’re fucking incompetent.

No, no, no. They’ll do anything, say anything, to protect their fucking paychecks.

Do we want people going out and killing for perceived injustices? No.

Do we want impunity for bullies? No.

BTW: I’ve been told that courtrooms are designed to protect the judge from violence coming from the litigants and spectators. That “bench” at which the judge sits is bulletproof. There’s always a “quick exit” door.

I knew a guy who headed the mortgage loan service organization for a bank in western Nebraska. He told me the floor plan of his office was designed with similar thought. Since my friend signed all the unpleasant notices, foreclosures, final demands, etc, his own office was as far from the public reception area as possible. He was completely aware that “all these farmers have guns.”

I don’t think my friend would intentionally cheat any loan customer, but he could be associated with a process some results of which could sometimes be perceived by some people as unjust.

When you consider the real, proven ripoffs, like Enron, I’m surprised that there aren’t more payback killings.

A necessary condition for peace is justice.
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Saturday, December 09, 2006


Back in the Sixties SF State’s Poetry Center put on weekly poetry readings in the “Gallery Lounge,” a large open one story building, long since torn down. Having walls on which student art could be hung was the “gallery” part. The carpeting, which was more comfortable to lie or sit on than the bare concrete below it, qualified the venue as a “lounge.”

Very funky, very minimalist, I heard many of the best living poets read from the banged-up lectern.

One week the scheduled poet was a guy from Ireland who was brought to SF State for a semester to teach a graduate writing seminar. I think in the late 1960s it didn’t cost much to get an Irish poet to come to San Francisco. I imagine him sleeping on a cot in Mark Linenthal’s basement.

In his opening remarks the Irish poet mentioned the first meeting of his graduate level poetry-writing seminar. He said he began by asking the students, “Who is the greatest poet?

“And,” he said, “they all replied ‘Cavafy’.”

I can’t remember the Irish poet’s name. I certainly can’t remember any of his poetry. But, he was probably correct. Constantine Cavafy is the greatest twentieth century lyric poet in an Indo-European language.

Cavafy’s language and themes are a mixture of, or interaction between, the classic and demotic. A gay guy, sort of on the make in turn of the century Alexandria, Egypt, you can’t tell if his exploits are happening in 1910 AD or 510 BC.

I happened to be home with the TV on during Jackie’s funeral. When it came her long-time boyfriend’s turn to speak, he read a poem by Cavafy, Ithaca.

I think this qualifies as a “really good poem.”

I’m grateful to George Barbanis for putting this poem on his site.


When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)

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Friday, December 08, 2006


James Baker’s Iraq Study Group report has already failed.

There is no particular change even suggested by the White House or by Congress.

Everyone’s wringing their hands. The official wisdom of TV punditocracy is that Iraq’s a mess, so we have to stay there and un-mess it. Exactly how long we stay there or how un-messed it has to be before we leave is still an open question.

In terms of strategy, or prognosis, this represents NO CHANGE.

The editorial board at SF WILLIE’S BLOG anticipated the ISG’s failure and so we commissioned our own Study Group, a blue ribbon panel headed by our own senior statesman, Pudinhand Wilson, which we’ve been calling “Pud’s Study Group.”

The ISG report from Baker had a long historical preamble explaining how the status quo obtained.

Pud’s Study Group report has a similar preamble, but reduced to two sentences:

The U.S. invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against peace.

The continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is a war crime.

Whereas Baker’s report has seventy-nine recommendations, the PSG report has only one :

Immediate, complete, unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. and “coalition” troops from Iraq.

The PSG assumed that the press might have some difficulty "interpreting" the meaning of the recommendation, so they prepared the following FAQs:

Q. When should U.S. troops start withdrawing from Iraq?
A. Immediately, right now, without delay.

Q. How many, what proportion of U.S. troops should be withdrawn?
A. All of them, 100%, no exceptions.

Q. What should the U.S. demand in return for its withdrawal from Iraq?
A. Nothing.

The editorial board has studied the report, in full, and has endorsed it unanimously.

This is the first time in the history of SF WILLIE’S BLOG that the board has agreed on anything. Pud says that makes it ex cathedra.


SFWILLIE’S BLOG urges the immediate, complete, unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. and “coalition” troops from Iraq.

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I love this Christmas carol. I used to think it was French, because of the radical bridge, but I’m learning it’s probably Scandanavian.

Even the world’s leading Narcissist, Eric Cartman, shows repect for this beautiful song.

I like this clip because it brings up the conundrum I dealt with when I was Cartman’s age: If Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, then why is Santa bringing presents to me?

There’s some sort of metaphor thingie going on but logically there’s no reason why I or other kids should be receiving presents on Christmas.

I, like Cartman, gave up on this puzzle. Since I was the beneficiary of the illogicality I had no interest in running the question to ground.

When Cartman thanks Jesus for being born, his gratitude is completely sincere.

BTW: Even professional singers tend to “cup” the high note in this song. Cartman hits it dead on. It might be a little screechy but the intonation is great.

This is Eric Cartman on his very best behavior.

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South Park - Cartmans Christmas Song

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Pud’s going to book passage to South America “after the first of the year.”

“The U.S. is used up,” he said.

“Venezuela has it all—a socialist government, oil up the wazoo, and, my beloved soul-tribe the Yanomami.”

“Pud,” I said, “there are many tribes included in the term Yanomami.”

“You fucking well know what I mean!", he shouted.

“Chavez has brains, the earth provides resources, and the soul? That’s where the Yanomami come in. But they are under attack. They need your help now, President Chavez, please protect them."

Pud has discovered YouTube. He insists I post the follow clip. Pud calls it Beauty and the Beast. He says its a punishment session, for the more indigenous person’s failure to sit up straight!

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Yanomami Bible Translation

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


The entire crew at SFWILLIE’S BLOG congratulates Hugo Chavez on his re-election to the Presidency of Venezuela.

While we are generally leftist, Chavez became our special hero just recently when he spoke to the U.N., one day after George Bush had addressed that body.

One definition of poetry is utterance in which sound and sense are one. Another aspect of poetry is that it points out truths so obvious that no one had noticed them before, or at least stated them.

We think Hugo Chavez’ utterance below meets both criteria. Do we agree with what he says? Absolutely.

Viva Chavez!

[Sorry about the CNN crap preceding the U.N. clip.]

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Chavez at UN

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I was talking with a graphics-interested friend the other day and I recommended he check out the Al Jazeera site. I think the black and white photos create an unusual effect.

He said he didn't want to access the site from his own computer because he was afraid DHS was tracking its visitors.

So here's a screen capture:

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Apparently Satan’s emissary to Chile, Augusto Pinochet, has stepped back from death’s door. This is good. The longer he lingers in a state of pain and incapacity the better.

It is also necessary to the interests of justice that prosecutions against the mass murderer continue. His death should take place in a prison. Also, all of the money he plundered should be located and returned to the Chilean treasury, and his family should be stripped of all assets associated with their international pariah paterfamilias.

Chile’s current president, whose father was tortured and murdered by Pinochet, is ultimately responsible for any state funeral that may be provided the former dictator. When asked, her spokesperson said, “It’s in bad taste to talk about funerals when somebody is still alive.”

“Bad taste, that’s my department!” Pud chimes in.

“I would make it a simple, dignified state funeral,” Pud says.

“I always liked the mule-thing they did for MLK. We should go with that.

“We strip Pinochet’s body bare, except we CrazyGlue that comic opera cocked hat to his head. We hitch him up to a pair of mules and drag him through the streets of Santiago—through rich neighborhoods, through the financial district.

“Then, in the main public square, we toss his body in a pen of ravenous dogs.

“Then, after the feast, the remaining bone splinters will be gathered up and sold on eBay , the proceeds going to the legal expenses of Chileans who wish to sue Pinochet’s estate for damages.

“It’s easy and cheap, a couple of mules, some glue, maybe a couple of snare-drummers, the dogs are free, and with pay-per-view and other marketing it’ll probably be a real money maker.”

“But Pinochet is small fry compared to the guy who put him in power in the first place,” Pud says. “What’ll we do with Henry Kissinger’s body”

“You’re being harsh,” I told Pud, “it’s bad karma.”

“You want harsh?” he exclaimed. “Harsh is what they did to Ceausescu. He was the Romanian dictator who created all those touch-deprived orphans. Cuckoo! He and Vlad the impaler put Transylvania on the map. The place is just spooky, like Texas.

“Old Ceausescu and his wife were caught trying to sneak out of town. The rebels executed them on Christmas Day, and announced that their deaths were a ‘Christmas gift to the country.’

“Completely well deserved,” Pud said, “but, yeah, maybe a teense harsh. Deservedly harsh.”

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Monday, December 04, 2006

MORE XMAS SPIRIT from South Park


Pud is not vindictive; he’s too lazy. See Grave Pissing, for instance. But he does enjoy a little vindication now and then; as we all do.

Pud went on record, in an eighth-grade essay, saying slouching was natural and sitting up straight was stupid.

Forty-five years later, science has confirmed Pud’s assertion, he is ecstatic, and he expresses himself in dance, er, song and dance.

When Pud “dances” he’ll choose a phrase, today it was “I told you so,” and use it, repeatedly, over and over, as the lyrics to some familiar tune; today’s tune was the Canadian national anthem.

As he sings he dances, sort of abstract free form, it looks like tai chi, except jerkier, and the space he fills up is the entire room, plus adjoining rooms if any.

He must have gone through the tune twenty times; one verse he performed with a swiffer thingie and got every cobweb in the house. One go-through would be canonic, the next highly melismatic.

He did a series of four verses, each of which was a single melisma on one of the words. So we heard O Canada sung through with just the word “I,” then again with just the word, “told,” and so on.

Costume changes on-the-fly, lighting changes, a whole mini-production, this is what Pud lives for. It makes me happy just to see him so happy. He’s like a four or five year-old, which I fear was probably the apex of his career.

When he finally stopped and I pointed out all the cockamamie contrarian assertions he’s made that haven’t proved true. “It’s luck,” I said, “like a hole-in-one.”

Pud just scowled, gave me the finger, and performed another five rounds. Good for him.

Well past the age of eighty my mom got news from a radiologist looking at full torso films: my mom had pronounced scoliosis, curvature of the spine, which was a congenital condition.

One of the themes of my mom’s childhood was being told to sit up straight. Her continued failure to sit up straight was judged by her parents to indicate some moral defect, or just stubbornness. Why wouldn’t Loretta just sit up straight?

The scoliosis news provided some vindication for my mom, if somewhat belatedly. There was nothing wrong with her character, there was something wrong with her back.

This is a happy benefit of science’s slog into darkness: conditions thought to come from moral defect are shown to have physical causes.

Stomach ulcers, for instance, were thought to be caused by stress and/or diet with behavior modification (reduce stress, eat bland) as the usual prescription. Then, in the last thirty years, researchers discovered that 80% of stomach ulcers are caused by bacteria, for which effective medicinal interventions were available.

People who sit up straight are creepy. There’s a kind of office-girl (and office-boy) whose back never touches the back of the chair during an hour-long boring presentation around a conference table.

Sitting up straight makes them look proper, and alert, and attentive, when in fact their attention is consumed by the back pain that only increases in severity as the speaker drones on.

It’s a kind of pretend. It’s almost like they’re holding they’re breath till the ordeal is over.

But not just office girls, but yogis and ballet dancers and gymnasts, with their straight backs, make me uncomfortable.

TV footage of fairly primitive Amazonian tribes shows them lying around in hammocks all day, or sitting in the ground slumped forward over their work. Verticality is the exception, and is always purposeful.

“I’m a Yanomami!” Pud exclaims.

This is the least dangerous delusion Pud has had in weeks, so I let it slide.

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006


So our newly elected first Muslim congressperson wants to put his left hand on the Koran as he takes the oath of office.

Considering the number of congresspeople going or gone to jail and or to disgrace, the Bible hasn’t worked that well, so, I figure, why not try alternatives?

Others disagree. HuffPo points to an amusing appeal from old Don Wildmon (will he ever die?) to protest this attack on our Judeo-Christian (i.e. Christian) way of life.

By the time I get to congress this issue will be worked out and each congressperson will swear on whatever book, or for that matter object, he or she chooses.

I’m going to swear on the OED, the thirteen volume edition from my childhood. I would be dedicating my tenure to the idea that words mean something . . . something!

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