Monday, February 28, 2005

Lovely Linda with flowers in her hair

Here's an interview with long-time pizza delivery persons in minneapolis from City Pages. Here are a few excerpts.

On tipping:

I know a driver who got 85 bucks from Karl Malone. Proof that an asshole can be generous.

A decent tip is three dollars. If someone orders something that costs eight bucks, maybe two. But three bucks as a general rule. And if it's a big order, or it's cold outside, you have to treat me right. A four-dollar tip makes me feel good. A five-dollar tip says you really care.

On Drugs:

I'd say 30 to 40 percent of our customer base is high. Cooks, maybe 60 percent. Personally, I've just had three times where I went to work high. Once, when I was delivering to an address in deep south Minneapolis, I was just cruising along and listening to a tape before I realized that I was on 35W headed toward Bloomington.

I've been tipped in pot. One time I delivered to this girl on Hennepin Avenue, and she said, "Wanna come upstairs and smoke some pot and do some whip-its?" So I said okay, and hung out with her for about half an hour. But I get dyslexic when I smoke pot, so it's not very good for me. My math skills get poor.

For me, it's just a waste of a fucking buzz. It makes the shift go on too long. You've got to sit and listen to the people at work, asking all these weird questions. Being high around that sort of stuff is just too much for me. But if I worked at Domino's, I'd have to get fucking high just to put the outfit on.

On Sex:

It was the last run of the night, to this kind of low-rent apartment complex in the suburbs. I knock, and this chick in her early 30s opens this door. She was kind of good-looking but kind of trashy. And she was totally naked. She goes through this little bead wall, and says, "Come in for a second. I've got to get the money." So I walked through the bead wall, and she's sitting on the couch, and says, "Want a drink?" By then it's clear what's going on. She made me some kind of drink, and we smoked some pot. She's totally naked and I'm in my little pizza shirt, and she says, exact words, "Do you have time for a quickie?" I told her, "I've got to go back to close the shop but I could come back."

She says sure, so I went to the store, shut down, and came back. So I'm fucking her and then all of a sudden she says really loudly, "Hey, come on out." And this fat dude comes stumbling through the bead door, stark naked, stroking his hard-on. I got the hell out of there. Then I went home and took a long shower.

Mr. Brown: There is always someone waiting in the wings. The perverted puppeteer. It is an icky, icky world.

It got into my pants

Words from the wise?

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
2 get through this thing called life

Electric word life
It means forever and that's a mighty long time
But I'm here 2 tell u
There's something else
The afterworld

A world of never ending happiness
U can always see the sun, day or night

So when u call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
U know the one - Dr Everything'll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby

'Cuz in this life
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life
You're on your own

And if de-elevator tries 2 bring u down
Go crazy

Apparently, this is what a serial killer looks like. Apparently they can also be the president of a local church's congregation.

Just a week ago, Dennis Rader, president of the 400-member congregation, had been a welcome and familiar face in their midst. He had recently dropped off spaghetti sauce and a salad for a church dinner, the pastor said.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Lost Ones

Now, now how come your talk run cold
Gained the whole world for the price of your soul
Tryin' to grab hold of what you can't control
Now you're all floss, what a sight to behold
Wisdom is better than silver and gold
I was hopeless I'm on Hope Road
Every man want to act like he's exempt
When him need to get down on his knees and repent
Can't slick talk on the day of judgement
Your movement's similar to a serpent
Tried to play straight, how your whole style bent?
Consequence is no coincidence
Hypocrites always want to make it seem like good intent
Never want to face it when it's time for punishment
I know that you don't wanna hear my opinion
But there come many paths and you must choose one
And if you don't change then the rain soon come
See you might win some but you just lost one

You might win some but you just lost one

You might win some but you really lost one
You just lost one, it's so silly how come
When it's all done did you realls gain from
What you done done, it's so silly how come
You just lost one

Now don't you understand man universal law
What you throw out comes back to you, star
Neverunderestimate those who you scar
Cause karma, karma, karma comes back to you hard
You can't hold God's people back for long
The chain of Shatan wasn't made that strong
Trying to pretend like you r word is your bond
But until you do right, all you do is go wrong
Now some might mistake this for just a simple song
And some don't know what they have 'til it's gone
Now even when you're gone you can still be reborn
And, from the night can arrive the sweet dawn
Now, some might listen and some might shun
And some may think that they've reached perfection
If you look closely you'll see what you've become
Cause you might win some but you just lost one

lauryn hill

Monday, February 14, 2005

No Missile Left Behind

With failure rates at pretty much 100% it seems that we need to introduce some more accountability and competition into the development of the national missile defense system. How can we stand idly by and let our missile defense system fail?

A test of the national missile defense system failed Monday when an interceptor missile did not launch from its island base in the Pacific Ocean, the military said. It was the second failure in months for the experimental program.
The previous test, on Dec. 15, failed under almost identical circumstances. The target missile launched, but the interceptor did not.
Before the Dec. 15 launch, it had been two years since a test. The program had gone five-for-eight in previous attempts to intercept a target.

No date for the next test has been announced. It is unclear how continued test failures would affect two experimental interceptor bases in Alaska and California.

(see article)

For example, maybe if Russia or China was also trying to shoot down our mock missles, the interceptor would be more likely to launch or actually hit its target? Or maybe when tests like these fails, we could just fail to pay the enormous fees we pay to the private contractors who develop these systems? We're talking about national security here, not some third grader who can't read. We say, leave the third grader behind and bring some accountability into the missile defense system. Can we really afford to delay when the sign of failure may be a mushroom cloud?

If schools fails do we not take away their money and close them? When children fail do we not scold them and re-test them? If a child can read 5 of 8 words do we pass them?


Sunday, February 13, 2005

Arthur Miller

There was a nice op-ed in the New York Times by David Mamet about the American playright Arthur Miller. We here at littleboxes are huge fans of Arthur Miller.
Here's an bit of the article...

Bad drama reinforces our prejudices. It informs us of what we knew when we came into the theater - the infirm have rights, homosexuals are people, too, it's difficult to die. It appeals to our sense of self-worth, and, as such, is but old-fashioned melodrama come again in modern clothes (the villain here not black-mustachioed, but opposed to women, gays, racial harmony, etc.).

The good drama survives because it appeals not to the fashion of the moment, but to the problems both universal and eternal, as they are insoluble.

To find beauty in the sad, hope in the midst of loss, and dignity in failure is great poetic art.

Arthur Miller's wonder at his country and his time will redound to America's credit when the supposed accomplishments of the enthusiastic are long forgotten. His work and the example of a life lived with quiet dignity are each an inspiration. I spoke at his 80th birthday celebration, my speech a prayer from Kipling that I will, again, offer here:

One service more we dare to ask -
Pray for us, heroes, pray,
That when Fate lays on us our task
We do not shame the day.

(see article)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Hey Baby, wanna see a gas mask?

Stop the Press!! Who is that? Vicki Vale.
Crazy stuff is happening in Fargo, of the broad-shouldered people.

(see entire story)[registration req'd]

A Secret Service agent was sent home after getting drunk at a bar the night before President Bush appeared in Fargo on Thursday, police said Monday.

Authorities were initially called to the Fargo Holiday Inn at Interstate 29 and 13th Avenue South after a gas mask was left behind at the bar.

About the time officers arrived, someone set off two fire alarms at the hotel, Fargo Lt. Tod Dahle said. Police suspect the agent set the alarm off.

"It was some very odd behavior," Dahle said.


The gas mask apparently fell out of a duffel bag the agent had accidentally left at the bar, Dahle said.

"Security was obviously concerned that someone had a gas mask ... with the president coming the next day," he said.

A hotel guest believed that someone matching the agent's description was setting off the fire alarms, Dahle said.

The incident happened Wednesday, the day before Bush spoke in front of 8,000 people at North Dakota State University's Bison Sports Arena.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Late Night kuleness

So, has everyone heard about this whole Ward Churchill thing? Well, if not, there are some good summary articles out there. The best one we have seen was in the Washington Post and you can read it if you click here. [registration req'd). For an inferior summary article, with no registration required, see this link.

For the lazy or non-click-friendly readers: Ward Churchill is a professor at the University of Colorado [current home of the college football rape scandal]. He wrote an essay back in 2001 that, without mincing words, said that the bankers and stock brokers in the World Trade Center are complicit in horrible acts committed by the United States and thus, they could possibly have deserved to die. He compared them and the system they support to Nazism. All in all, he's on the controversial end of the spectrum. The University of Colorado may fire him and the Governor of Colorado has called his speech treasonous. [Again he wrote the speech in 2001, but it is only getting attention now.]

Here's what Ward looks like:

We here at littleboxes support free speech. However, we don't support it without question. For example, we don't think that putting a burning cross on someone's lawn is protected under the law. Yet, we feel that Mr. Churchill should be allowed to keep his job and that what he said qualifies under free speech. Although, it should be mentioned that there are members of the staff who do think what he said is horrible and some also believe that he should lose his job.

In any event, one thing that we can all agree on, is that this bit from the Washington Post article is some funny shit!!

Accordingly, board members were clearly eager to act when they gathered Thursday to consider the Ward Churchill affair. Once again, though, the trustees lost control. Having issued an agenda for a "public meeting," the regents informed the packed auditorium that no students would be allowed to speak on the issue of free speech. This prompted a raucous outcry.

Some of what Churchill wrote [in quotes]:
the trade center victims in New York were ignorant of the evil they did every day "because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it."

And...the president of the University, Elizabeth Hoffman had some thoughts,

Afterward, a shaken Hoffman said the Churchill affair reminds her of a dark memory at the University of Colorado -- the treatment of former philosophy professor Morris Judd. At the height of the McCarthy era, in 1951, Judd was investigated and fired after anonymous students charged that his view of the Korean War sounded "communistic." More than 50 years later, the university held a lavish ceremony to apologize to Judd and create a scholarship in his name. "I hope we don't do anything now," the school president said Thursday, "that would cause future generations to have to apologize."

Hoffman is famous for this little pearl of wisdom in another U of C investigation, as described by the Washington Post:
A lawsuit by two undergraduates who say they were gang-raped by Barnett's football players and recruits is pending. After a student athlete was accused of referring to a female student by a four-letter slang term referring to part of the female anatomy, President Hoffman declared that this "c-word" can sometimes be a "term of endearment." Students and faculty denounced the president for "hate speech." The regents again took no action.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

That budget is tight!

The staff have received some feedback. We've heard that some of our readers are having some trouble distinguishing our writing from the inane shit we often quote. Although this saddens us, we will now make at attempt to better delineate between the text we compose and the stuff we quote. We're going to try italics for our quotes and normal for our stuff.

OK, so back to the title of our post:
Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday the budget going to Congress this week was not prepared with a "meat ax," but that the administration found roughly 150 federal programs it believed can be cut or eliminated.

"We are being tight," Cheney said. "This is the tightest budget that has been submitted since we got here."

The budget seeks savings from about 150 programs, including Amtrak, environmental protection, American Indian schools, farmers' subsidies and Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor and disabled.
"It's not something we've done with a meat ax, nor are we suddenly turning our back on the most needy people in our society," Cheney told "Fox News Sunday."

Well, we were a bit worried about the budget cuts, but now that the Vice President has assured us he did not use "a meat axe" and that they are not turning their backs on "the most needy people in our societ" we are all for it. If we can't trust the Vice President, who can we trust?

If American Indians are not among the neediest in our society, who exactly qualifies?
Amtrak? Budget cuts? People need to decide whether or not they want a train system. If they do, we need to make it a good system. If they don't want one, then just stop spending money on it. An informal littleboxes staff poll put support for dramtically increasing the funding of Amtrak at 67%.

P.S.: We get few comments here from people who aren't staff members. We got a few the other day. This made 90% of us happy, although Susan thinks we are dangerously close to selling out. We added a link to one of our comment makers.
Here's a nice post about Rasheed Wallace's love for our Prez. We should note that economisttobe also took note of Rasheed's strong feelings.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Lost Time Is Not Found Again

Lost Time: Watching Bush talk about social security. Despite being continually "shocked and awed" by the utterly disturbing parallels between Bush's speech and Newspeak (1984), was it really worth it to watch that speech? And, although it seems far-fetched, we would still not be surprised if those bastards privatize social security before it is all over. We're shocked they haven't changed the name of social security to something more Orwellian. For example, they could call it:
Restricted Benefits
Capped Payments
Minimum Security
Social Welfare

Lost Time: Bitchin' about no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. If you don't know already, we never cared about weapons in Iraq. The U.s. went to Iraq to spread freedom and democracy. What weapons? It is as if it never happened. The media never discuss weapons when they report on Iraq. So all the protesting is not even relevant. It's been wiped from history.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Missionary Position

Apparently, it's awesome!
Check out this news from our Tsunami relief department:

From India surfaced a story about Samanthapettai, a fishing village in Tamil Nadu hit by the tsunami, where some Christian missionaries reportedly refused to distribute biscuits and water unless the Hindu recipients agreed to change their faith. When TV reporters approached the nuns, they refused to comment and left.

My God, what is their motivation?

Local missionaries in India and other non-Christian countries are funded to a large extent by resource-rich American groups – powerful multi-million dollar corporations complete with TV channels and private planes. The websites, updated with fervent appeals for funds and tearful photos of tsunami survivors, are a window to their incredible organisation and explicit agendas for touching the "unreached people" or non-Christians with the hand of God. They look at India and Indonesia as "opportunities" for spreading the gospel. India is often described as a land of darkness, of idol worshippers and an area ripe for redemption.
A few members of the littleboxes staff have done missionary work. A few of our members have even done missionary work on native american (Indian) reservations in the United States. It turns out that the most effective (in terms of conversions and not pissing people off, which are highly correlated) missionaries on reservations are young asian-americans. Our staff members comment that the people on the reservation don't trust white people so the churches (often chinese churches) send people (like them) instead.

A few other of our staff members hate missionary work (with a Passion...a Passion of the Christ...well, they are not sure).

Ah, this is leading to a rather heated discussion amongst our staff, the narrator is being called less than impartial. God damn it! We gotta sign off here...

(here's the link)

Let It Roll (Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp)


Let it roll across the floor
Through the hall and out the door
To the fountain of perpetual mirth
Let it roll for all it’s worth

Find me where ye echo lays
Lose ye bodies in the maze
See the lord and all the mouths he feeds
Let it roll among the weeds
Let it roll

Let it roll down through the caves
Ye long walks of coole and shades
Through ye woode, here may ye rest awhile
Handkerchiefs to match your tie
Let it roll

Let it roll, let it roll
Let it roll, let it roll

Fools illusions everywhere
Joan and molly sweep the stairs
Eyes that shining full of inner light
Let it roll into the night

Let it roll, let it roll
Let it roll, let it roll
Let it roll, let it roll

-G. Harrison

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Electro-Spanking of War Babies

NYT has an article about the Gonzales confirmation. They describe the argument over whether Gonzalez helped facilitate the torture of innocents and prisoners of war. It serves as an excellent example of the "he said-she said" journalism. It reminds us of a bad high school policy debate.
Democrats said that as White House counsel, Mr. Gonzales had helped devise policies that narrowed the definition of "torture" and led to the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and at the United States naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, tarnishing America's image abroad and making the country less secure.

But the Judiciary Committee chairman, Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, said today that Mr. Gonzales had built "an extraordinary record," professionally and personally, and despite his critics' insinuations to the contrary, Mr. Gonzales has explicitly opposed torture.

and...they leave us with that. The article doesn't even make it clear as to whether or not Gonzales ever wrote a memo. Did he write any memos? Who knows. Maybe the democrats are just making this up.

Also...Specter's argument that Gonzales has an "extraordinary record" does not deny the existence of any memos and whether or not they condoned torture.

Did these memos condone torture? Can that only be determined from opinion or can it be factually verified.

God damn it. The New York Times says "no comment."

Apple Sucking Tree

Interesting stuff on the future of life in this universe:

As the universe expands, its energy content is diluted and temperatures eventually plunge to near absolute zero, where even atoms stop moving. One of the iron laws of physics is the second law of thermodynamics, which states that in the end everything runs down, that the total "entropy" (disorder or chaos) in the universe always increases. This means that iron rusts, our bodies age and crumble, empires fall, stars exhaust their nuclear fuel, and the universe itself will run down, as temperatures drop uniformly to near zero.

Charles Darwin was referring to this law when he wrote: "Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is, it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress." And one of the most depressing passages in the English language was written by Bertrand Russell, who described the "unyielding despair" he felt when contemplating the distant future: "No fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought or feeling, can preserve a life beyond the grave… all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system; and the whole temple of man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins."

Russell wrote this passage in an era before space travel, so the death of the sun does not seem so catastrophic today—but the death of the entire universe seems inescapable. So on some day in the far future, the last star will cease to shine, and the universe will be littered with nuclear debris, dead neutron stars and black holes. Intelligent civilisations, like homeless people in rags huddled next to dying campfires, will gather around the last flickering embers of black holes emitting a faint Hawking radiation.


Well, I've already had two beers
I'm ready for the broom
Please, Missus Henry, won't you
Take me to my room?
I'm a good ol' boy
But I've been sniffin' too many eggs
Talkin' to too many people
Drinkin' too many kegs
Please, Missus Henry, Missus Henry, please!
Please, Missus Henry, Missus Henry, please!
I'm down on my knees
An' I ain't got a dime

Orange Juice Blues (Blues for Breakfast)

(richard manuel)
I had a hard time waking this morning
I got a lotta things on my mind
Like those friends of yours
They keep bringing me down
Just hangin' round all the time

I've had a hard time waking most mornings
And it's been that way for a month or more
You've had things your way
But now I've got to say
I'm on my way out the door

Why don't you get right, try to get right, baby
You haven't been right with me, why don't you get right?
Try and get right, baby, don't you remember how it used to be?

You had a hard time waking this morning
And I can see it in your empty eyes
But there's no need for talking
Or walking round the block
Just to figure out the reason why

I have a hard time handing out warnings
I'll just slide on out the door
Cuz I'm tired of everything
Being beautiful, beautiful
And I ain't coming back no more
That's a song from the Basement Tapes (Bob Dylan and The Band)

Million Dollar Bash -(dylan)
Well, that big dumb blonde
With her wheel in the gorge
And Turtle, that friend of theirs
With his checks all forged
And his cheeks in a chunk
With his cheese in the cash
They're all gonna be there
At that million dollar bash
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
It's that million dollar bash

Ev'rybody from right now
To over there and back
The louder they come
The harder they crack
Come now, sweet cream
Don't forget to flash
We're all gonna meet
At that million dollar bash
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
It's that million dollar bash

Well, I took my counselor
Out to the barn
Silly Nelly was there
She told him a yarn
Then along came Jones
Emptied the trash
Ev'rybody went down
To that million dollar bash
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
It's that million dollar bash

Well, I'm hittin' it too hard
My stones won't take
I get up in the mornin'
But it's too early to wake
First it's hello, goodbye
Then push and then crash
But we're all gonna make it
At that million dollar bash
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
It's that million dollar bash

Well, I looked at my watch
I looked at my wrist
Punched myself in the face
With my fist
I took my potatoes
Down to be mashed
Then I made it over
To that million dollar bash
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
Ooh, baby, ooh-ee
It's that million dollar bash

And folks, as usual, attach no meaning to anything we post. Although, today we are all particulary struck by the words:
"Cuz I'm tired of everything
Being beautiful, beautiful"


" Well, I looked at my watch
I looked at my wrist
Punched myself in the face
With my fist"

Maybe it's because it's beginning to read like Newspeak out there and hey, what does it all mean?