Thursday, February 18, 2010

Austin, a Pictorial (the...San Antonio edition)

This here’s the Alamo. You may recognize it from such films as The Alamo. It was firmly established by the Spanish in 1724 in order to convert savages into boy-molesting holy men and also to assert control over the land in case any stinky Frenchmen wandered over from Louisiana. Fast forward 100 years and General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna wipes his ass with the 1824 (Mexican) Constitution and replaces it with a centralist dictatorship. Texians, still a part of the Mexican government, say, “No way, Santa. We’ll just secede until there’s not such an asshole in power.” A couple of battles later, about 200 white guys are stuck in the now fortified Alamo with thousands of Mexican soldiers bottlenecking through every opening. The rebels are immortalized as martyrs of circumstance, and Billy Bob Thornton wins the theatrical role of former Tennessee congressman David Crockett in the latest historical exploitation. Note the Crockett Hotel sign. Classy.

Here’s the bullshit line in the sand that William B. Travis supposedly made with his sword to separate the men who want to be slaughtered by a vastly superior army from the cowards who want to go on living.

Whenever I visit places of historical significance, I enjoy pretending that I am a citizen of that era and that what my senses perceive are the same experiences a person would have in known in their time (In this case, I was a Texian landowner 175 years ago, rebelling against an oppressive government. (Just to be clear)). So when I stood on a bench and peered over the western battlement wall, I was dazzled with the thought that I might be staring at an IMAX theater where Davy Crockett watched 3D nature shows.

Here’s an overall model of the fortress. I’ve seen other dioramas showing its walls stopping short of the San Antonio River. I don’t know which to believe, and since I only went to San Antonio to pay a $190 speeding ticket from just before New Year’s, researching historical accuracy was at the bottom of my grumbling list. Regardless, the San Antonio River is now a main attraction for many S.A. tourists. It’s called the River Walk.

Notice that the water has been completely contained and routed for the whims of franchise owners who sell alcohol, cowboy hats, and gassy Tex-Mex to New Englanders? It complements the water's mostly rail-less edge. No rails is the way to go, I think. 

If you're stupid enough to fall in the water, then you shouldn't be left unsupervised anyway. Besides, the thought of pot-bellied tourists tumbling into 5ft of polluted city water is especially pleasing for me. Back to Austin.




*Interesting factoid: Mediocre British musician Phil Collins is a major artifact contributor to the Alamo's museum exhibit. I find that funny for some reason.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Meme

I justify participating in this social network-like questionnaire by deeming it a creative exercise. Also, Julie at At Home With Myself singled me out as the sole recipient of this meme, and to ignore it would be both assholish (see previous post for definition of “asshole”) and noseholish (undefined). I changed all the girly questions to man questions, and I omitted, for your sake, the boring ones. This is my world, people. I did, however, keep the “ou” spellings of words like “favourite” because they make me feel international.

What is your current obsession?
I’m unhealthily obsessed with eating well. Unhealthily because I just finished reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, and the so called “Western Diet” that I thought I’d been avoiding for years has apparently been extended even to the soils from which “organic” foods are produced. The soils, in turn, nurture the seeds that sustain all American livestock (when in nature these creatures don’t naturally eat a singular diet of genetically modified feed anyway). Your options, living in a fast paced American society that doesn’t value a sit-down culture of eating real food instead of “edible food-like substances”? Starve. Thanks Pollan, you jerk.

What are you wearing today?I blog nude.

What’s for dinner?I’ll be foraging for nuts and berries. See question 1.

What’s the last thing you bought?I’m assuming you’re not interested in gasoline, so the last relevant thing I bought was D-tuned blues harp (aka harmonica) and beginner’s book. I'm really cool now.

What do you think about the person who tagged you?I admire her cultured personality.

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington D.C. USA.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?I like Julie’s answer: the space station. And yes that counts.

Who do you want to meet right now?Cormac McCarthy. I don’t actually want to meet him so much as I want to peer into his bathroom and watch him struggle with constipation. Only then will he become human to me.

What is the book that changed your life and why?The Time Machine by HG Wells. Abridged. It was my first window into sociological literature, and the first book I had ever read that was expressing a principle through fiction. I didn’t know books could do that.

What is your dream job?I’d like to be the bikini straightener for the Miss America pageant, and it wouldn’t matter to me that each woman is a corn-fed hick who has the audacity to belch her opinion of gay marriage. My job would be to straighten bikinis.

What do you consider a fashion faux pas?I don’t really have a fashion opinion, but I once noted with distaste an old man’s balls strangled out of his Daisy Dukes. I suppose that was a faux pas. It was definitely a disagreeable lunch break. How do you not feel a refreshing breeze against your skin-taut scrotum? I know my boys would let me know.

What inspires you?People who have goals and a plan to reach them.

What do your friends call you most commonly?Max Powers, Sire, Bulging Crotch Alderete, The Man With Two Arms, Gangsta, Son of a Gun, Dirk Diggler, Sue, Fast Eddie, Danny Zuko, Pepsi Can Charlie, the Duke of Earl, Billy Ocean, Zeus Cloudgatherer, Hercules II, Zoro, Batman, Mr. Emma Stone, Mephistopheles, the Cuckolder, Champ, “Gyrating” Johnson, Clint Eastwood ca. 1966, and Carlos.

Would you prefer coffee or tea?I would choke bunny rabbits to death for coffee.

What makes you go wild?Boobies.

Which other blogs do you love visiting?I wouldn’t say that I love visiting these blogs. They’re all interesting in their own way, but I only love a handful of things (e.g. sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows). Have a gander at my blogroll. Every link there has interested some part of my humanity.

Favourite season?We don’t have seasons in Texas. There’s just a steady graying from fall to spring and then suddenly it’s 150 degrees outside. Kids keep their thirsty mouths from the first scalding blast of water from garden hoses, stray dogs burn the pads off their wandering feet, and non-natives drop dead from ill preparation. So I guess summer’s my favorite.

When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?Jello shots? What am I, 15? Jesus.

What would you do if you were made President for one day?I don’t know. Start a nuclear war? I’d have to leave my mark somehow, and you’re only giving me a day. I wouldn’t want history to remember me as the aloof 45th president. That or I’d create a new holiday to commercialize. It would combine all major American holidays into one glorious day of consumerism. I’d call it “Patriot’s Month.” Wait, am I going to get shot? Who's my VP?

If you were a superhero with one special power, what would it be?My standard answer used to be a tie between flight and super speed, but I once posed this very question to my friend Roger, and he extended his hands over an invisible body and said, “to heal.” I like that.

Here’s my question: If you could take an anonymous revenge dump in someone’s front yard, who would it be?
"Rules for those who are tagged: respond and rework – answer these questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own, and add one more question to the list. Then tag a set of eight or ten new people."

These are the rules. I’m obviously not following them, but Sharon, I “tag” you. Make me laugh.

Friday, February 5, 2010

On Mark Bittman

I think the term "asshole" is probably the most offensive of all insults. Think about it. To be called an asshole is to be called a hole in somebody's gluteus maximus or ass. "You hole in the ass!" See what I mean? "You intestinal lip!" "Kiss me, you puckering sphincter from which stinking coils of brown excrement emerge!"
That being said, I think Mark Bittman, New York Times columist and author of The Minimalist Cooks Dinner, is a total asshole for making me spend two miserable hours preparing his mediocre "Linguine with Tomato-Anchovy Sauce" without instructing me how to properly remove anchovy meat from the fillet's skeleton. Do you know how many bones are in a single anchovy? Lots. Minimalist, my eye, you asshole.
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