albums i feel too strongly about, volume one: yes, this contains hip-hop commentary

DISCLAIMER: this may be not only one of those updates where i talk about the dreaded hip-hop music, but also one of those updates where the topic is something that no one except myself would find interesting in the slightest. but that being said, in the never-ending quest for additional content…

one thing i have noticed is that i often find myself at odds with established critical or popular standards for what happens to be either an artist or band’s “best” work, or even sometimes just a work that i think rocks that the unwashed, undernourished masses think is not. sometimes these are mildly disagreements about which it’s not really worth debating (i found Redman’s Reggie to be reasonably acceptable, but apparently no one else did, but fuck it, it’s no Dare Iz A Darkside, so i have just expended the maximum amount of energy to defend it that i am willing to), but on the other hand, there are times when i feel really compelled to defend such an album.

these are some of those times.

the Final Cut
“make them laugh… make them cry… make them lay down and die”

Pink Floyd – the Final Cut
the argument generally presented: let’s just start with something for the white folks out there. okay, so most people that like Pink Floyd simply have a low opinion of this album; i don’t know a single person, aside from myself, who seems to listen to it as much as any other Pink Floyd record, or hold it in high esteem. i’m assuming they see it as at best a disappointment and at worst a failure.

my thesis: so here’s the deal: everyone loves the Wall, and yet the Final Cut is the same kind of record (Waters working through his emotional problems with rock music), and it’s basically leftovers from the Wall (or, alternatively, can be seen as a sequel to the Wall), and, frankly, it rocks. now i admit it can be a little more preachy about the 1980s, and it’s always easier to take preachy when it’s about a different generation. but let’s not let all the drama about Pink Floyd kind of breaking up overshadow the fact that the Final Cut is at LEAST better than every single Pink Floyd and/or Roger Waters album that follows it.

how strongly do i feel about this: well, the problem is ultimately that Dark Side Of The Moon and Wish You Were Here and The Wall are phenomenal and, okay, probably better records. and i will always argue Animals is their best album. so there’s a limit to how much praise i think this album should get. maybe i just want it to get a little respect? that’ll do.

Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age
“whole lotta love going on the in the middle of what? say what? what’s going on?”

Public Enemy – Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age
the argument generally presented: Public Enemy is generally overlooked now (i think i am the only person who continues to buy their albums), and maybe remembered as the group Flavor Flav was part of before he became a terrible mess all over your television. before that, they had a ridiculous run in the 1980s, but by the time Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age (also known as The Worst Album Title Ever) came out in 1994, i think people were already viewing them as on the decline, with this album kicking it off.

my thesis: quite simply, this album is better than two of the albums preceding it, better than all of the albums following it, and good in its own right. you still have the Bomb Squad dropping excellent, sample-laden production you could NEVER do today; the album has a top-five opening song (“Whole Lotta Love Goin On In The Middle Of Hell”), a top-five rap song sent to a slow beat (“I Stand Accused”), and one of the all-time greatest bitter songs ever recorded (“Aintnuttin Buttersong”). there are some serious duds on the album, there is an awkward rock tune near the end, and there’s a little bit much Farrakhan-loving for people who find him ridiculous. but this album sounds phenomenal.

how strongly do i feel about this: very strongly; i can remember a time when this tape was constantly playing in my old-ass Escort, which makes me seem like a lame guy with a cassette player in a battered Ford, but it is what it is. i won’t argue it’s better than It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back or Fear Of A Black Planet … but after them, it’s next in line. it’s also the reason why i’m writing this update, if you want something to blame it on.

Quality
“what i’d say to a dead cop’s wife? cops kill my people every day, that’s life”

Talib Kweli – Quality

the argument generally presented: we’re now about to enter the world of rap nerds, because the fact is that the average dude doesn’t hate on Talib Kweli’s second album, because they don’t even know who he is. but the nerds (and critics), you see, they loved his album with Hi-Tek, and kept trashing the following ones as being less experimental and ground-breaking, and much more in line with what we’d call “selling out.”

my thesis: absolute garbage. this album features great production (including some pre-superstar-Kanye West) and some monster tracks (“Get By,” “Good To You,” “The Proud,” “Guerrilla Monsoon Rap,” the list goes on) and while it’s probably true that it’s more commercially-oriented and less “ground-breaking,” the fact is that “Get By” is awesome whether or not you can heavily market it as a single. sometimes this happens because SONGS ARE GOOD. how i feel about ground-breaking can be paralleled with how i feel about game reviewers panning games for not being innovative enough: sometimes an album or a game can just be fucking FUN.

how strongly do i feel about this: pretty strongly, but at the same time, while i could convince a casual rap listener, that guy was never the problem. and you can NEVER convince a rap nerd (and probably not a critic), so it’s not REALLY worth arguing. that said, if the topic comes up, i’m all over it. and i’m even willing to go to bat for the Beautiful Struggle, but with less energy expended. it IS notably worse than Quality.

All We Got Iz Us
“ain’t no one we can trust… ’cause all we got is us”

Onyx – All We Got Iz Us

the argument generally presented: the average person cares about one song (“Slam”) off one album (“Bacdafucup”) and if MAYBE they’re old enough to be nostalgic, they remember that second single (“Throw Ya Gunz”). they further believe that Onyx as a group offers nothing more than those two songs of any redeeming value.

my thesis: granted, i understand that “Slam” was a monster hit that overshadows everything else Onyx would ever do, whether as a group or solo. now, their third album was good, Sticky’s first solo album was good, and everything else after those was just not worth acknowledging the existence of. but between Shut ‘Em Down (solid album #3) and Bacdafucp up came this wonderful album All We Got Iz Us, which features some stellar production from Fredro Starr (which he would never replicate, for some reason) and the angriest, bitterest, saddest raps that can be summed up as presenting the following thesis: “life is shit and everyone despises us and we hope we die soon, but failing that, we hope everyone else dies. violently.” however, please do not confuse this with a Cannibal Corpse album. this one has rap music on it.

how strongly do i feel about this: this is the greatest album ever created. if you disagree, just know that you are wrong and stupid (and a bad person), and i will never let you forget that. EVER. or we can just talk about something else.

real update next week (or, uh, FOR next week), i swear! maybe i swear. i don’t know.

federal regulatory agencies: solving all of America’s problems since … uh … 1863?

oh, it’s another week here at the house of hate, with more hilarious relatings of random crimes, more sarcastic renditions of American crime worries, and maybe talk of new firearm purchases. we don’t like to break new ground here, or for that matter, make any clever new jokes about old ground; we just do what we do and hope our three readers think it all works out. so let’s get right to it.

Stephanie Six
obviously, this is the kind of woman you’d want to trust around your horse

Florida woman accused of slapping a police horse

we’ve once before discussed event wherein someone flipped out and took out their misplaced aggression on a horse, the most terrible of nature’s creatures, so why not go right back to that same well and dig up another person who’s gotten way out of control in the face of a horse?

“After spending nearly 12 hours behind bars, accused of slapping a police horse, a Florida woman was happy to be home Monday, but said she still doesn’t understand why she was arrested.”

granted, i know that’s her way of saying, “i didn’t do what they’re accusing me of and i should never have been arrested,” but i would think when someone accuses you of slapping a police horse, you should be able to understand why you’ve been arrested. oh, i’m so witty!

“”The horse had me pinned up against the wall,” Stephanie Six told CNN. “It scared me, so I put my hand up into his face as a reaction.””

…and now we apparently move right to a position of “well, i had to slap the horse because it was assaulting me.” which, to be honest, i would understand, as it’s in line with my long-standing position of “horses are total jerks.” but that said, it’s hard to understand why you’d be in close contact with a police horse… and then put your hand into its face to make it back off… and then be confused as to why the police officer riding it is arresting you for slapping it. speaking of which: why not speak to the OFFICER and ask him to move? ma’am, you slapped this horse.

“Six, 29, was arrested early Saturday morning outside a bar in downtown St. Petersburg. She said she was with a group of friends, waiting for others, when police approached them “aggressively,” and told them to leave.”

outside of a bar downtown early Saturday morning? ma’am, the horse didn’t have you pinned to a wall, the OFFICER riding it did. and it was probably necessary, not “aggressive.” ma’am, you slapped this horse!

“”They’re saying I slapped this horse when that’s not the case,” said Six. “It’s embarrasing!””

i shouldn’t really make this joke because i do this kind of thing all the time, but what the hell: not as embarrassing as it is for CNN to put this spelling mistake on their website! ahahahahaha! seriously, though, ma’am, they’re saying you slapped this horse because YOU SLAPPED THIS HORSE.

“Police were using mounted patrols to try to control crowds outside the bar when, they say, Six hit the horse, according to local news reports. Six, who says she was never read her rights, was charged with battery on a police horse and released with time served. “I’ve never been arrested before, now I have a record,” said Six, who was also not happy about being branded as an animal abuser.”

okay, so there are crowds outside this bar that need to be controlled by mounted officers. and frankly, given the kind of outside-the-bar(s) hijinks that go on that i watch police NOT need to control, i assume that they wouldn’t be there on horses if they didn’t need to be. anyway, so they’re controlling a drunken crowd… and this woman is part of that crowd… and yet she thinks she didn’t slap this horse or have her rights read? ma’am, you slapped this horse! and you didn’t hear your rights being read because you were drunk and being cuffed against, well, a horse and busy ranting at the officers for violating your rights. after you slapped their horse!

“CNN contacted St. Petersburg police and the state attorneys office, but officials were unavailable for comment because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.”

well, that is weird, as i have never heard of a police department (which i generally assume operate 24/7 in some capacity) that couldn’t comment because of MLK’s birthday. but you know what they’d probably have said if they WERE open? “ma’am, you slapped our horse.”

Neil Brown
obviously, this is the kind of guy you’d want to turn to for sound advice on drug usage and/or the remainder of life’s problems

officials: “bath salts” are growing drug problem

well, if there’s two things i do know about this country (aside from lists of state capitals and the location of various national landmarks, of course), it’s that a) Americans love to put almost anything into their bodies in the name of getting high, and b) Americans love to freak out over supposed “drug fads” that are sweeping the nation. this is how we got an Anarchist-Cookbook-fueled situation where a) people tried to get high using banana peels and b) other people ACTUALLY BELIEVED this was possible. this week, we apparently have some new drug fad sweeping the nation:

“When Neil Brown got high on dangerous chemicals sold as bath salts, he took his skinning knife and slit his face and stomach repeatedly. Brown survived, but authorities say others haven’t been so lucky after snorting, injecting or smoking powders with such innocuous-sounding names as Ivory Wave, Red Dove and Vanilla Sky.”

and it even has a PCP-style colorful, violent freak-out! ridiculous! so at this point, i really don’t know what to believe: i find it hard to imagine legions getting high by snorting bath salts AND then chopping themselves up with knives … and yet i know Americans are definitely stupid enough to do such a thing. so we’re going to have to read on, obviously.

“Some say the effects of the powders are as powerful as abusing methamphetamine. Increasingly, law enforcement agents and poison control centers say the advertised bath salts with complex chemical names are an emerging menace in several U.S. states where authorities talk of banning their sale.”

comparison to the redneck crack that’s a legitimate, confirmed drug wave? check. talk by authorities of banning this “emerging menace” (possibly because they’re “thinking of the children,” although this is not stated)? check. unfortunately, while this is all very serious, and might even one day lead to someone getting killed in a military-style drug raid in Prince George’s County over it, it’s still not anything that’s going to confirm this for me.

“From the Deep South to California, emergency calls are being reported over-exposure to the stimulants the powders often contain: mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV. … The chemicals are in products sold legally at convenience stores and on the Internet as bath salts and even plant foods. However, they aren’t necessarily being used for the purposes on the label.”

okay, that’s better, if only because i have neither the patience nor the chemistry degree to look at those massive string-of-letters names up there and try to deduce whether or not mephedrone is something you can (and would) stuff into your body to get high. plus, it’s completely true that Americans will absolutely ingest anything that MIGHT get them high, even if the “used for the purposes on the label” thing sounds overblown. also, i lied earlier, because i at least looked up mephedrone and found out that it’s a stimulant. so there’s that as well.

“Mississippi lawmakers this week began considering a proposal to ban the sale of the powders, and a similar step is being sought in Kentucky. In Louisiana, the bath salts were outlawed by an emergency order after the state’s poison center received more than 125 calls in the last three months of 2010 involving exposure to the chemicals.”

and you know, while i am sympathetic to the notion that the thought of people dying after consuming these salts is a legitimate public health concern, i’m not sure how effective banning drugs has proven to be. someone out to ban cocaine and see if that’s effective.

“In Brown’s case, he said he had tried every drug from heroin to crack and was so shaken by terrifying hallucinations that he wrote one Mississippi paper urging people to stay away from the advertised bath salts. “I couldn’t tell you why I did it,” Brown said, pointing to his scars. “The psychological effects are still there.””

well, okay, here’s two things:
01. i can tell you why you did it, Brown: because you’re the kind of guy that’s tried every drug from heroin to crack. there’s maybe better drugs to represent running the gamut of all drugs ever (i’d use “from ketamine to peyote” if it was my article), but i still think his motivation is clear.
02. also, here’s another reason to heed Brown’s recommendation to stay away from bath salts: because the kind of person who snorts bath salts is the kind of guy that’s tried every drug from heroin to crack. funny how much sense that makes!

“”It causes intense cravings for it. They’ll binge on it three or four days before they show up in an ER. Even though it’s a horrible trip, they want to do it again and again,” Ryan said.”

what i love about this notion is that it’s SO TRUE. people are taking the bath salts (presumably), having a HORRIBLE time doing so… and then feeling compelled to do so again. but the thing is, i don’t believe the drug forces them to do so through intense cravings; i think they’re just stupid and think it’ll be awesome the NEXT time they do some bath salts.

“Dr. Rick Gellar, medical director for the California Poison Control System, said the first call about the substances came in Oct. 5, and a handful of calls have followed since. But he warned: “The only way this won’t become a problem in California is if federal regulatory agencies get ahead of the curve. This is a brand new thing.””

finally, though, we come back to one of my areas of concern, because we have been hearing these kinds of freak-outs for years. yeah, kids do drugs. yeah, kids will do ridiculous, crazy bullshit in the name of getting high. but kids will also huff fucking spray paint, so i’m not sure this is the kind of thing we can prevent if only federal regulatory agencies will get involved. oh, why won’t they just get involved! someone think of the children!

“Dr. Richard Sanders, a general practitioner working in Covington, La., said his son, Dickie, snorted some of the chemicals and endured three days of intermittent delirium. Dickie Sanders missed major arteries when he cut his throat. As he continued to have visions, his physician father tried to calm him. But the elder Sanders said that as he slept, his son went into another room and shot himself.”

this is going to sound cold, but all i could think of was “even his physician father couldn’t point out the idiocy of trying to get high by ingesting bath salts to him.” but surely federal regulatory agencies can succeed where fathers and physicians have failed!

“A small packet of the chemicals typically costs as little as $20.”

they better if we’re talking about goddamn bath salts that aren’t even illegal!

“In northern Mississippi’s Itawamba County, Sheriff Chris Dickinson said his office has handled about 30 encounters with users of the advertised bath salts in the past two months alone. He said the problem grew last year in his rural area after a Mississippi law began restricting the sale of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in making methamphetamine.”

follow along with me, if you would, Mississippians: guys in your state were getting high-as-hell on methamphetamine, so you made it more difficult for them to make meth. mysteriously, this was followed by them simply trying to get high on something else that they could get their hands on. huh. let’s talk about how legal restrictions on pseudoephedrine have been a boon to meth-making Mexican drug cartels another time.

“Dickinson said most of the bath salt users there have been meth addicts and can be dangerous when using them. “We had a deputy injured a week ago. They were fighting with a guy who thought they were two devils. That’s what makes this drug so dangerous,” he said.”

i love crazy-ass hallucination stories, but i’m going to be honest here: i would consider it at least somewhat dangerous to be apprehending a bunch of redneck meth addicts who could at the very least be filled with meth at the time. and i’m pretty sure some yokel dumbass filled with a powerful stimulant could put up a good fight, even if it’s not- wait, the bath salts are also a stimulant. so this is sounding a little familiar.

“Kentucky state lawmaker John Tilley said he’s moving to block the drug’s sale there, preparing a bill for consideration when his legislature convenes shortly. Angry that the powders can be bought legally, he said: “If my 12-year-old can go in a store and buy it, that concerns me.””

“Tilley did not comment on his plans to ban glue and aerosols, both of which is 12-year-old can go into a store and buy.”

but enough ranting; let’s get on to the good times.

guns arriving at- err, near my house in a box!

Walther P1

it’s a C&R Walther P1, which is like a P38, but with more aluminum, unless it’s true that later P38s are filled with aluminum, in which case it’s like a P38, but for the military instead of the cops. and it comes with a somewhat-related saga!

so here’s the saga part of this purchase: UPS tries to deliver this gun crazy-early in the day, foiling my plans to be there and sign for it. i then try to get them to hold it for me to pick up, and that gets worked out: so far, so good.

but it turns out that when you go to their depot, everything looks locked up and dark, and there’s a sign saying “customer pick-up across street.” fair enough; i cross the street to THAT depot, and i wait in a line for 30-40 minutes while a lady sorts out who’s a DC address and who’s an MD address. when asked if she could look up anything specific by another customer, she answers that she’s “just trying to help.” it turns out, though, that this help was limited to NOT telling people like me, of whom it turned out there were many, that certain zip codes had to go BACK across the street, as the small, printed-out sign saying this was behind a long line of people waiting for packages.

so i go back across the street, which is locked up and dark, and it turns out that pick-up is located outside the building, around the side, in the wind and cold, by a razor-wire fence. which is awesome. and which takes ANOTHER 30 minutes to work out. the moral of the story, though, is that if i’m picking up a new gun, it makes up for all that bullshit. hooray!

“far be it from me to claim to truly know what motivates guys to write awesomely bizarre graffiti”

so usually these updates are a listing of news articles highlighting something(s) that i find hilarious, or a listing of news articles highlighting something(s) that i find infuriating; what we’ve done here today is try to blend that together into a mixture of “stuff that i find to be comedic, but with an aftertaste of just bitterness and disgust.” you see, we’re doing some high-level psychological experiments over here at HOH, and what we’re currently wondering is that if we mix in frustrating things with the comedy, can we ruin that comedy for you?

i have tried to explain to our research staff that no one reads anything i post, regardless of the content, but they were not to be dissuaded, and i don’t really want to argue with people in those full-body suits that scientists wear when they’re working with dangerous viruses. i find those suits to be off-putting and creepy. so here’s the update.

graffiti-filled Brooklyn courthouse bathroom
keep it classy, Brooklyn, keep it classy

Brooklyn courthouse bathrooms are a haven for lewd graffiti artists

so it’s probably not news that i find ridiculous bathroom graffiti to be hilarious and interesting; i may have even once written an update in which it featured prominently. so it’s a safe bet that if throw up any article about “lewd graffiti artists,” my passion for ridiculous graffiti will win out over my prudish opposition to anything that can be described as “lewd” every time. every. single. time. anyway, so there’s an article about this or something:

“Despite efforts to keep all courthouses graffiti-free, thugs have turned spots at the Brooklyn Criminal Court building into a canvas for lawbreakers’ tags and profanity. “Apparently, visitors are taking out their frustrations with the justice system on the rest rooms’ walls and surfaces,” said Mark Daly, a spokesman for the Citywide Administrative Services Department. “It is difficult to keep [them] clean.”

now, far be it from me to claim to truly know what motivates guys to write awesomely bizarre graffiti on things, but somehow i doubt it’s more complicated than a mission to take our their frustration on the justice system. does it make sense that guys who ARE frustrated with something in the courthouse are going to berserk in the bathrooms? i suppose so, but you know there’s going to be an equally large number of stupid kids just being stupid kids. anyway, let’s get to that lewd graffiti?

“The courthouse at 120 Schermerhorn St. has the dubious distinction of being the most graffiti-ridden in the system, officials said, with Manhattan Criminal Court a close second.”

i don’t know how you determine what courthouse has the most graffiti in it, but however you do it, i sort of wish it was my job. “well, Jim, the Schermerhorn courthouse has more than 130% the “i love sucking big black dicks” content of any other courthouse in New York City. and don’t even get me started on the proliferation of “tap for blowjob” in here, because it’s simply appalling.”

“The men’s rest rooms in Brooklyn have become eyesores, with graffiti all over the mirrors, windows and walls. Much of the spaces are covered in garish, scribbled curse words, profane drawings and tags for neighborhood crews like Power Players and Rich Boyzz.”

okay, let’s get serious for a minute. i get that, as this article notes, there is a constant flow of offenders coming through, so it’s a little difficult to determine who is doing what in terms of graffiti, without even getting into the issue of assigning cops to stake out bathrooms. but that said, if guys are tagging their neighborhood crews in there… and we know where those crews are located… would it really be THAT difficult to deduce at least who some of these offenders are?

“”It looks like a dirty bathroom at a park, not a courthouse,” said Julius Trowell, 54, who came to settle an open-container arrest warrant. “It makes it depressing to come here.””

says the man in his fifties that’s there to settle an open-container arrest warrant. huh. say, let me tell you something that would make ME depressed to come to a courthouse…

“”It’s a public building. It’s an issue we hope to address as soon as possible,” Daly added. After calls from the Daily News, court officials said a cleaning crew will be painting over the graffiti this weekend, Daly said.”

Daly, i have to say, i understand your problems, but i also have to tell you that this sounds a little bit suspicious. “we can’t resolve this, there’s no funding, there’s no time… wait, you say the news called about this? get some paint in there!”

“”The building looks better now, but people still damage the rest rooms because the guards don’t see you there,” said Chris Singh, who operates a food stand. “I’ve seen people writing graffiti. They look at you and keep going. They don’t care.””

now, i don’t mean to tell Chris Singh to do anything that will put him in harm’s way (seriously), but here’s the thing: maybe you can tell some court officer about the guy who’s in the bathroom tagging it with graffiti RIGHT NOW so that they could catch him in the act? because the only graffiti i support enjoying and laughing about is the ridiculous kind, and this certainly doesn’t sound like it. what a goddamn tease!

okay, a couple of quick animal-related shots:

awesome black guinea pig
guinea pig owners, be warned: the above might be mistaken for drugs by police agencies

drug police strike guinea pig cage

so given my preference for promoting and/or defending ridiculous rodents for pets, you know i had to hone in on this news story immediately:

“Yorkshire cops have apologised after swooping on a suspected Bradford cannabis “hothouse”, only to find a couple of pampered guinea pigs languishing by an electric heater. Six officers in three vehicles descended on Pam Hardcastle’s house after a police chopper’s dope-busting camera picked up a suspicious infrared hotspot.”

the two things that are the absolute best about this description are:
01. the fact that this wasn’t just an honest error involving a couple of cops raiding the wrong house, but that it was one involving three vehicles AND a police helicopter;
02. the description of the guinea pigs as “pampered” and “languishing,” both because this language is way too ornate to describe chubby rodents, and because having owned many a guinea pig, i can picture EXACTLY how content a languishing guinea pig looks. and it is priceless.

“Back at the scene, meanwhile, Hardcastle’s mum explained to the anti-drug SWAT team her daughter “had guinea pigs in the garage and would have a heater in there to keep them warm”.
The coppers, however, pressed on with the operation, and having gained entry to the facility, “took one look at the guinea pigs, then left”.”

now, i am not saying these officers should have taken the mother at her word if they truly believed that there was a grow-op in that garage. what i am laughing at is the disgusted expression i am visualizing on the faces of the officers who entered and looked those languishing guinea pigs right in their faces.

unrelated guinea pig nerd note: one of these pigs (Simon) appears to be all black, which is ridiculously cool AND rare for a guinea pig. accordingly, i’d let him have a heater and languish wherever he wanted.

janklow and cujo
above: our hero janklow apparently trying to train HIS dog to respond to people arguing

man allegedly trained dog to bite woman during arguments

so, background: this story is hilarious to me because, in my youth, i knew of a dog that did a very similar thing: my trusty sidekick and house of hate mascot, Cujo. now, he wasn’t TRAINED to bite anyone during arguments, but he was disgusted by arguing in the house, and if you got into a heated debate, he’d burst into the room and bark angrily at the person yelling until they were quiet. he did, on another hilarious occasion, silence a profane outburst directed at my mother by biting the child delivering it, which was wrong (on a biting level) and hilarious (on a every-other-level level). i really miss that dog. anyway, there’s an article:

“A 56-year-old Orland Park man who allegedly trained his dog to bite a 54-year-old woman during arguments has been charged with misdemeanor domestic battery, according to an Orland Park Police report released Jan. 7.”

things i am curious about: how exactly do you train a dog to do this? i know how they train police dogs to attack, but it takes multiple people and some replication of the scenarios in question; did this guy hire another mid-50s lady to stand in his yard wearing a protective suit and scream profanity and demeaning remarks at him? i suppose, given the legal ramifications of the matter, that we may never know the truth of the matter.

“Police responding to a 7:50 p.m. Dec. 23 disturbance at the man’s home on the 11700 block of Brookshire Drive said they encountered a 54-year-old woman with red marks on the side of her face, and a bite mark on her leg. The woman said the marks occurred from being grabbed by the man. She said the man trained the dog to bite her when they argue; the injury occurred during one of their arguments.”

two things i am confused about:
01. if this guy was just going to grab her face and thus leave blatant evidence for when the police arrived, then what’s the point of training a dog to do your dirty work for you?
02. did this dog bite her during the incident the police were called for or not? because it sounds to me like they came, found the guy had roughed her up, and then she threw in, “oh, by the way, he also trained his dog to bite me when we argue sometimes.” so maybe this is all a beautiful lie?

at least the story i told you about my dog is true. that dog was awesome.

Julian Assange
maybe my fundamental problem with Assange is that he cannot be photographed in any manner that’s not ridiculously pretentious?

Julian Assangefires back at ‘idiot’ critics, threatens to sue newspaper for publishing ‘his’ leak

so periodically, i feel compelled to read something about the latest developments with International Hero Julian Assange, get kind of annoyed about it, and then whine about it here. so let’s not make any more bones about it and get right to the meat of things. let’s start with the thing about ‘idiot’ critics:

“In an interview with MSNBC Wednesday, Assange said he wondered whether the United States was descending into a “state of anarchy” after the withering criticism of him by those outraged over WikiLeaks’ publication of classified war and diplomatic documents. Assange called them idiots, “trying to make a name for themselves.””

let me skip over the part where Assange cannot be considered an unbiased party (like a newspaper) and get right to the part where he claims people attacking him are “trying to make a name for themselves,” which presents us with two confusing aspects:
01. these people “trying to make a name for themselves” include such people as Joe Biden, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. whatever you think of them or their comments, or even Assange’s actions… don’t we all acknowledge they already HAVE made names for themselves?
02. is Assange trying to accuse people of seeking fame based on his acts when it seems fairly certain he’s actively seeking fame based on other people’s acts? because i have to be honest, i think that’s what’s going on, and that it’s a little hypocritical.

“In an interview with the Times of London, Assange compared himself to Martin Luther King Jr. When he was locked up briefly in London’s Wadsworth prison, he said a black guard handed him a note that read: “I have two heroes in the world, Dr. King and you.” That sentiment, Assange said in a New York Times account, “is representative of 50 percent of people.””

things i do not believe about this:
–Assange’s anecdotal evidence;
–Assange’s ability to calculate percentages

but perhaps i am just a negative skeptic and i am not giving proper credit to a man who’s a righteous crusader? well, there’s also the second of the above article:

“In Rusbridger’s office, Assange’s position was rife with ironies. An unwavering advocate of full, unfettered disclosure of primary-source material, Assange was now seeking to keep highly sensitive information from reaching a broader audience. He had become the victim of his own methods: someone at WikiLeaks, where there was no shortage of disgruntled volunteers, had leaked the last big segment of the documents, and they ended up at The Guardian in such a way that the paper was released from its previous agreement with Assange—that The Guardian would publish its stories only when Assange gave his permission. Enraged that he had lost control, Assange unleashed his threat, arguing that he owned the information and had a financial interest in how and when it was released.”

three things that are awesome about this paragraph:
01. the part where Assange is actively arguing against his position of full disclosure of sensitive material because it damages his personal interests, something that he feels governments have no right to. because surely they don’t control access to things because of their interests!
02. the part where the concept of leaking controlled documents is used against Assange to leak documents, which has the duly hilarity of STILL leaking the documents (for those who are pro-leak) while burning Assange (for those who are anti-Assange). everyone wins!
03. the part where Assange has the impressive audacity to claim ownership of leaked documents from various governments and officials that he did not create at all … and then to do it because he has a FINANCIAL INTEREST. because i’m sure when the US is saying they own the cables, and they have an interest in said cables, and Assange is going on and on about the righteousness of his position, they have no leg to stand on, right, Julian?

i have been thinking that, at some point, people who are supportive of the leaks as a concept would at LEAST come around and acknowledge that Assange is a hypocritical asshole (and possible rapist), because surely we as rational, intelligent people can differentiate between the benefits of someone’s deeds (though, to be clear, i personally strongly disagree with that position) and the reprehensible nature of that person as a person. instead, we’ve got people commenting how rape shield laws are terrible because they protect Assange’s accusers. i mean, hey, i assume such things are done because it’s in said people’s financial interests, but what the fuck do i know? i don’t get page views like that, you know.

janklow’s 2011 new’s year resolution: actually put some comedy on this website by 2012

so now that it’s 2011, a new year and all that, it’s traditionally the time of year when we all get ridiculously drunk and come up with these “New Year’s resolutions” so that we can make up for all the sad, sad decisions we’ve made in the past year and/our our lives. so while i was an a family event, trying furiously to avoid being attacked by a bird, my grandmother asked me what my New Year’s resolution was. now, generally, i don’t make them, because they’re either depressing or too easy (“i resolve to eat some cakes this year”), so i attempted to play it off, claiming that if you tell someone your New Year’s resolution, it won’t come true.

but in retrospect, maybe i should try to come up with one; self-improvement may be masturbation, but it certainly fills up the days. so what i think i’ll do is come up with a list… of no particular length… and let the masses decide what the best option would be? i’ll try to add some content to the list so that, you know, it’s worth reading. here we go!

janklow’s 13 possible New Year’s resolutions for the year 2011

crab pie
or, instead of expanding my list of delicious pies, i could expand my list of DISGUSTING pies!

13. acquire more firearms
sometimes you go with resolutions that are meant to change the way you live, to improve your life and all that garbage, and sometimes you go with resolutions that are basically taking what you already love to a greater level, like when you decree that you’ll stop playing guitar in your bedroom and actually get that band idea going. since my passion for purchasing firearms is already well-documented, i suppose this is one of the latter. so, i resolve to buy more guns this year?
chance of this happening: 100%. i mean, for crying out loud, i already worked out buying a firearm this month. this would be the easiest resolution ever! as thus i am leaning towards it… but i guess it probably shouldn’t count since i already did it, right?

12. grow a truly excellent beard
now, at several times in the past, i and others have made it our goal to grow awesome, epic, Civil-War-quality beards, whether to gross people out or for the raw pleasure of enjoying our lustrous new beards. but for some reason, we always got annoyed (or maybe just disgusted) and we never truly got to the highs of what our beards could be. but maybe this is the year i make it happen?
chance of this happening: 85%. this is actually a set-up to make myself depressed, because it’s the kind of resolution i KNOW i can accomplish… but yet probably won’t because i’ll get too frustrated with each beard mid-beard and keep shaving. and i don’t want to set myself up for that kind of sadness.

11. expand my repertoire of pies to a total of 13 pies
one of the “things i am known for,” aside from getting overly emotional on the internet, is the baking of massive quantities of pumpkin pies; November to January is basically “make so many fucking pies” time every year. this year, though, i’ve expanded to make some pies i don’t normally make: first cherry (delicious) and then crab (horrifying, but apparently tasty). so perhaps i should shoot for having a 13-pie-long list of pies that i can whip up by the end of the year?
chance of this happening: 75%. i’m already at 3, and we’re only a month into the year, and there are many types of pies i could easily learn to make simply because i find them tasty (i’m looking at you, lemon meringue). and yet, this seems like the kind of resolution that i would fail at after getting to 12 and then getting totally fucking lazy about the whole thing.

10. keep my plant alive for an entire year
so recently, my grandmother gave me this pretty sweet plant (a croton, to be specific) in order to class up my residence; it’s also currently home to an excellent spider who’s made the top of the pot into a complicated, bug-slaying web. however, what this plant doesn’t realize is that every plant i ever get ultimately dies a sad, sad death as i water it and fertilize it and fuss over it until, as far as i can tell, they die out of total disgust for me. so maybe this is the year when i go above and beyond and keep one alive?
chance of this happening: 50%. i feel pretty confident that i can keep it alive… but i don’t want to be so cocky as to think that i can just defy the cosmos and keep a plant alive. still, it could happen.

Alan Alda as
this… this is not the face on which to base dreams of a new year

09. get a sweet tattoo designed by yours truly
for years now i have been negotiating with people who SWEAR that they’ll get a tattoo that’s designed by me… and yet, year after year, these deceitful fiends keep stringing me along, never intending to do what they claim and get the tattoo(s). and you know it’d be an awesome one featuring robots doing something cool, right? so maybe this year i should just make it happen by designing the most awesome robot design ever and then tattooing it on myself?
chance of this happening: 45%. the advantage is that it’s not a very demanding task: instead of self-improvement for a year, you just get it done. but fundamentally, i’m a big girl who doesn’t want anyone looking at my exposed skin. nudity, to any extent, is gross!

08. learn to actually speak a foreign language
the advantage to making it a resolution to learn a foreign language is that it’s a useful skill, so beyond using it to watch movies and hit on foreign students in bars, you can ALSO claim it’s going to help your career or blah blah blah blah blah. and in my case, not only have i been dancing around it for some time (no time to decide on a language and stick with it), but according to this state, i actually CAN speak a second language (although, to be honest, that’s absolutely bullshit). so maybe this year i buckle down and turn Maryland’s dream into a reality?
chance of this happening: 40%. again, it’s the kind of solid goal that really DOES help you in life, even if only because you now will know exactly what the Greek guy behind the counter is calling you (and it’s not pleasant). that said, i am way too lazy to think this is going to happen.

07. finishing watching every episode of M*A*S*H
okay, bear with me as i explain this one. some years back, i learned that the illustrious Joe Pantoliano, like many other actors, guest-starred on an episode of M*A*S*H, and so i resolved to watch the series until i caught the episode. now, it took watching 216 of 251 episodes to make it happen, so i’m pretty close to having watched the entire series. there is NOTHING constructive about this, but i’m all about OCD-style completion of series-watching… so maybe i should put in some work and be able to say i’ve watching every episode of M*A*S*H?
chance of this happening: 25%. the 25% is to reflect the fact that it’s possible for me to DVR M*A*S*H episodes and try and catch the ones i missed. but i’m not going to pay money for the DVDs, i’m not going to let myself get frustrated by a network’s refusal to run that one certain episode… and to be honest, i’ve had enough of fucking Hawkeye to last me a lifetime already.

06. actually read Finnegan’s Wake
i once had a salty professor of Irish descent who told me probably the truest theory that any man has ever espoused: that anyone who tells you that they have read Finnegan’s Wake is lying. note that while it may have been implied that he read Finnegan’s Wake, he didn’t actually claim to have. anyway, it’s typically something that dudes that want to appear smart and well-read and all that claim to have done, but since i am not a moron and do generally like to read, maybe i should sit down with a copy of it and conquer said book?
chance of this happening: 20%. i think it’s doable, i really do, but i also think my ardor for passion has really cooled off in the years between now and my college days, and while Dubliners is great, i don’t think THAT highly of Joyce. plus, i’d be reading it for no reason, since everyone i tell that i’ve read it should assume that i’m a liar, right?

deer fighting
your pointed heads and threatening looks don’t scare me, deer; this is the year it finally goes down

05. learn the illustrious trade of gunsmithing
this was inspired by a statement from Zippy about how i might one day find myself able to say i was a gunsmith (as opposed to a dude who’s switching out easily replaceable parts); it’s certainly something that dovetails with my interests AND vaguely involves the “legitimate self-improvement” factor, and would provide for a post-retirement career if i can master it well enough to be fixing up hunting rifles or Desert Eagles or whatever in a shed behind my house… so why not officially suck it up and learn the trade?
chance of this happening: 15%. there’s paperwork, there’s ATF licensing (to do it for profit, anyway), there’s paying attention to classes… i mean, there’s a narrow chance that my love for guns would win out, but come on, that’s all time i could be SLEEPING.

04. sit down and finally finish writing a novel
or a book of short stories or whatever. and technically, it doesn’t have to be GOOD, it just has to be FINISHED to qualify for meeting this resolution, right? and it would certainly put a smile on my grandmother’s face for me to write “the Great American Novel” or “whatever book i have in me” before she dies, so there’s that as well. last year we had that whole “write a novel in November” weirdness, which i don’t claim to understand, but which reminds me that such a thing could be a New Year’s resolution. so how about it for 2011?
chance of this happening: 5%. i’m going to say there’s probably a solid reason or two why i have not managed to crank out anything approaching a book in the decade since i graduated from college after studying a massive amount of English and writing. ugh, and now i feel old to boot.

03. fight a deer
i don’t like deer, and deer don’t like me, and we’ve been dancing around this conflict for years. i have chased them through the woods, i have screamed profanity at them, i have stood out in fields and demanded they “come back here and fight me like a man” … and while there was one incident where i thought a deer might step up to the plate (it didn’t), to date there has yet to be a real, knock-down drag-out rumble between yours truly and a deer. is this the year when that finally changes?
chance of this happening: 1%. despite years and years of disrespect and conflict, there hasn’t been a fight, and that’s a long track record to dismiss. plus, since other dudes keep shooting them during the fall, they’re probably just going to assume i’ll shoot them if they try to fight me.

02. get married and have some babies
my mother would probably get mad at me if i didn’t add this onto my list as a resolution, no matter how unlikely it is. it’s one of those things a parent (or parents) would like to see their children do once they start getting older (and they’re old). and making such a goal your resolution for the year is definitely the kind of plot a romantic comedy has, and we all know what a devoted fan i am of romantic comedies.
chance of this happening: 0.5%. and see, the really funny part of the joke is that i’ve placed it here on the list where i can add that it’s more likely i’ll manage to get into a fight with a deer and win!

janklow hard at work
can you guys not tell that i’m very busy over here?

01. post updates to house of hate in a timely fashion
well, you see, this would… oh, i get it, internet, ha ha ha. very funny. I’LL POST THEM WHEN I GODDAMN WELL FEEL LIKE IT.
chance of this happening: 0%. let’s be realistic about it.