Monday, December 31, 2007

A Real Resolution: Let's Go Meta For a Minute

Having written about 450 or so posts over the last 2.5 years, there have been many points at which your humble blogster has asked himself "what, exactly, is the point here?" Of course, the number of commenters who have asked this question is far higher, but that has been okay because Burque Babble has resisted having a real point since its inception. Lacking a real agenda has seemed as important not having ads or asking commenters to register before being able to make comments.

Lately though the question of "what's the point" has raised its head in a new, more blog-threatening way. Being meaningless is fine, but what if "the Tubes" themselves don't have a point? More importantly: What if all this time spent on the "Internets" actually retards creativity, thinking, knowledge?

(insert sound of today's wind silently blowing through your humble blogster's brain)

Some friends and I had a conversation about this very topic last night, and it was one of those situations where a topic was brought up in a light-hearted provocative way and ended up leaving us all silent and wondering. How much "work" are we really doing here in blog/internet land? What is the quality of the "entertainment" we are receiving and how active is our brain in receiving it, whether information or entertainment? Just how passive is our mental interaction with this Internet thing? Just how addicted are we?

(reinsert sound of today's wind)

Ever since I got my first Compaq "portable" computer back in 1985 (before moving up to my Dad's IBM XT with, get this, 10 MEGABYTES of hard drive memory), I have tended to laugh at famous writers who continued to either compose by hand or on old Underwood typewriters. Even before Mosaic and all that it seemed quaint, but silly.

Now, 22 years into this computer thing, I wonder.

I've spent an embarrassingly large number of hours before the computer in recent years, but haven't really questioned it, feeling that the benefits outweigh the costs. Then I think about these "benefits", and wonder if it is really a "benefit" to follow current events via the 'Net and know the following:

  • That I can get a close look at the snow causing today's road closure of I-70 by going to TundraCam.
  • That Jimmy Fallon got married to someone he met on the set of "Fever Pitch"
  • That Ron Paul is running for President
  • That I can get a "Second Life" Class 5 Island on EBay for $1,450.
  • That a local Fox affiliate in St. Louis devoted a newscast to the erroneous rumor that Albert Pujols was on the list of those accused of steroids/HGH use in the Mitchell Report.
What would I/we be doing if we weren't living/knowing this way? Would we just find another brand of brain candy? Would that candy be as time-consuming and trivial, or even more so? What was the brain candy before Mosaic 2.0, PINE e-mail and the 14.400 modem?

I'm going to go offline for a few days and consider these questions. Or try like Hell to do so. It's a Resolution of sorts, and one that I can already see will be really hard to keep. For instance, all my music listening has been spent between Rhapsody and online radio for years now. Whenever I find myself listening to KUNM on the radio now I try to think back to a time in which I not only listened to KUNM but worked there DJing "Global Music". Can I really go back to that?

Of course the answer for just about every question is "moderation", but will moderation when it comes to the "Tubes" be enough?

I don't know, but I'm going to try to find out. I'm going some version of cold turkey for a week or so. No/as little/okay, maybe a tiny bit more than a little internet usage as possible. Time away from the laptop so overused that the silver paint has worn off around the space bar, and it's only 18 months old. Time doing something around the house...God knows what.

I think I'll start with that biography of Willem de Kooning I bought two months back and haven't touched. 600 pages of Abstract Expressionism. Scary, but maybe something like a crazy life and enigmatic painting is the way to kick this addiction. It also reminds me of a day back in 1994, I believe, in which at a computer lab at UNM I spent some time using Mosaic and going to the WebMuseum. I still remember looking at the Fauvists page there ( Matisse, etc.) and seeing these beautiful paintings of blazing color slowly load onto the 14 inch monitor.

My life hasn't been the same since.

Let's see what my life is like in a week or so, and whether I come crawling back to the Internet like some tweaking junkie back to Needle Park. Until then, enjoy the sunshine, wind, soil, reading chair, whatever is really out there.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Parental Discretion Advised: The Seven Words, Thursday Afternoon 2007 Edition

Because this is what you do during a vacation Thursday afternoon, I plopped down on the couch (and where else does one "plop down" these days?) and surfed my way through the seven Jerry Springer telecasts to the "USA Network". Upon this channel I found "The 40 Year-Old Virgin".

Hmmm...I think to myself, "USA Network" at 1 in the afternoon. What hilarious censorship standards might I encounter in viewing this movie on this network at this time?

Answer: Much hiliarity. Levels of hilarity at or above the actual film. Okay, it's "The 40 Year-Old Virgin", it's a movie, not a film.


Good News For "Bad" Words: It's apparently okay to say "asshole" in a movie at 1 in the afternoon on "USA Network". It's also okay to have a character say "smoke my pole" and "did you cum in your pants?" It is strangely okay to say "nigger", but not "you are fucking with the wrong nigger" because of the word "fucker". Not that you asked, but it is okay for a character to say "and her dog starts licking my ass". Lastly, it happened fast, but I believe it is now okay to say "Goddamn" in a movie on "USA Network" at 1 in the afternoon.

Bad News For "Bad" Words: It is still not okay to say any version of the word "fuck" at 1 in the afternoon on "USA Network" on a Thursday Afternoon. "Shit" is still taboo. The word "pussy" is a no-go as well. There are some others, but I found that if the character says the word really fast they basically just left the word in, while if the character says something like "fuck" slower and more demonstrably the word "freak" would be edited in with remarkably poor quality.

Who makes these rules? What meetings result in the decision that "asshole" is okay, but "shit" is not? Can I attend the next such meeting? Can I get paid to attend and determine whether "smoke my pole" is appropriate at 1 in the afternoon on "USA Network"?

P.S.: Just noticed I misspelled "discretion" in the title for about five hours. These eyes of mine are getting past "old guy" to "glaucoma/cataracts" in a hurry. I'm already ctrl+ing two or three times in Firefox and still missing stuff. And have I mentioned that my knees are sore or that hairs are growing in my ears? Okay, hairs are definitely NOT growing in my ears. Forget I said anything about that.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Thing That Makes Them Tick Like A Bomb

"...I hope that Martin goes on to trounce whichever nutjob the GOP chooses to prop up."
-Jason Call, Ex-NM CD#1 Democratic candidate, 12/21/07
The quote above isn't a segue into any lame analysis of the CD#1 Primary or race. It's not an attack on the Republican Party. Instead, I want to spend a few words talking about "nutjobs".

Earlier today, as you know, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated along with 20 or so other people in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. On a less international scale, Albuquerque has seen three attacks (two arsons and one vandalism) at area abortion clinics/family planning centers in the last month.


I know "nutjob" seems a flippant, slangy term to describe people who would go around doing such things. But it somehow captures the utter stupidity of one being so convinced s/he is right and others wrong that they would kill the "other" and/or burn down their buildings. How can anyone be so insanely, illogically convinced of their rectitude? How can anyone possibly defend such actions?

Oh, sweet religion. Where would we be without it?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Et Tu, Thelma?

Thelma Domenici
Time to Kill Death Penalty

Thoughtful Gifts Build Bonds With Colleagues

New Customs May Ease Gift-Giving of Families

Along With Credit Cards, Bring Courtesy to Mall

State Party's Intention Clearly on Invitation

Ask Thelma: Grace Is Timeless Even in an Electronic World

Yes, I am just childish enough to find it funny that the Journal online has put the very serious opinion column "Time To Kill Death Penalty" just above "Thoughtful Gifts Build Bonds With Colleagues" under Thelma Domenici's name/picture.

And proving that I've been totally out of it culturally, I didn't even know that Thelma D. had joined the traitorous Gene Grant and left the sinking space ship Tribune for the cubed monolith of the Borg. Losing Gene is one thing, but Thelma!?!

Without Thelma, the Tribune is a discourteous pile of Jenga pieces, incapable of both staying erect and maintaining proper etiquette and decorum in doing so. Thelma's leaving is truly a sign of newspaper end times, and also a good indication that the gasping afternoon daily will not use proper stationary to formally announce its death.

As an infrequent contributor to the Tribune (and if I recall correctly, the death of the Trib will make it three separate publications I have successfully killed off merely by writing for them), I get the very occasional person asking me if the Journal has called asking me to write for them. Readers of Burque Babble tend to be a discerning bunch, so I think it's hardly necessary for me to answer that question here. I will say that the question is just about as funny, to me, as the Journal juxtapositioning a plea to end the death penalty between Thelma Domenici's name and "Thoughtful Gifts Build Bonds With Colleagues".

And no, I don't really think badly of Ms. Domenici or Gene Grant for leaving the Tribune early, nor do I think Thelma has hurt our ephemeral collegial bond by not getting me a "thoughtful gift" or even letting me know she was leaving the Trib. We've all got to do what we've got to do, and when the Borg asks you to put on the funky eye-piece headset, or join the others in the burning Viking funeral space boat, being assimilated looks like a pretty good option.

From what I hear (and no, I have no "inside" info whatsoever), the Tribune ain't gonna make it to my next scheduled column for them on January 3rd. Put simply and inadequately, that's a bummer, and not because the readers of ABQ will be deprived of some silly palaver from your humble blogster.

To wit: Randy Burge wrote a column for the Trib a few days back concerning the death of a homeless person. I admit I've generally avoided reading Mr. Burge's business/positive thinking columns over the years. Not my kind of thing. But here was a thoughtful essay that was by far the best "Christmas Sharing/Caring" article I came across this year. And from such an unexpected source.

Losing the Tribune is not a cataclysmic thing. It's not a tsunami along the Thai coast or the senseless death of a South Valley boy from guns or bad driving. But it does matter, I think. And Albuquerque will not be quite the same, regardless of how many blogs and other "news" sources try to fill the resultant void. Including this silly blog.

Well, at least we'll stay informed about things like Along With Credit Cards, Bring Courtesy to Mall. Hard to imagine how we'd get along as a society without sage advice like that.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Order Mikhail Bakunin Now And Receive Free Express Shipping!

The Old Gray Lady continues to show how hip she can be by dropping words I've never seen before. Today's New York Times way-cool term is "shopdropping" ("surreptitiously putting things in stores, rather than illegally taking them out"), and the piece focuses mainly on anarchists dropping advertising leaflets about how much advertising sucks.

And that's somewhat interesting, but even more so was the following:

"For pet store owners, the holidays usher in a form of shopdropping with a touch of buyer’s remorse. What seemed like a cute gift idea at the time can end up being dumped back at a store, left discretely to roam the aisles.

“After Easter, there’s a wave of bunnies; after Halloween, it’s black cats; after Christmas, it’s puppies,” said Don Cowan, a spokesman for the store chain Petco, which in the month after each of those holidays sees 100 to 150 pets abandoned in its aisles or left after hours in cages in front of stores. Snakes have been left in crates, mice and hamsters surreptitiously dropped in dry aquariums, even a donkey left behind after a store’s annual pet talent show, Mr. Cowan said."

Somehow a left-behind donkey says more about holiday shopping than any anarchist can.

I do like the Marx/Bakunin/Guevara t-shirt, however. It's the one on the right below:

Kike Arnal, New York Times

Happy last-minute shopping or "shopdropping" everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Great Idea To Watch

Straight from Mario Burgos and Mudhouse Advertising comes this nifty way-cool idea. As Mario puts it at his site....

For every unique view this video draws during the holiday season

Mudhouse Advertising will donate $1 to Art Street and Albuquerque
Healthcare for the Homeless.

This contribution (up to $10,000) will be made on behalf of
all the clients and vendors who have given Mudhouse's art a home.

Special thanks to the generosity of:

Rebecca Elise Productions
Luis Molina
Half-Life Digital

For their donation of time, talent and resources
in the production of this video.

Watch, learn, and help us spread the holiday spirit!

Thanks for the great idea, Mudhouse/Mario!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Worse than a Jay Leno Rerun, ur "Classic"

Yes, we've been forced to this. A cross-posting of something I think is in today's Tribune. Oh, the ignominy! Burque Babble apologizes for its laziness and dereliction of duty. I have some excuses ready to offer, some of which are even partially true, but will dispense with "Andy Pettitte says he only did HGH two times and if that's wrong, well he's sorry" non-apology apologies, and just copy/paste the damn thing.

Lazy cross-posting begins now....

All Hail the New Mexico Bowl! (or some cheesy headline like that)

I want to start by welcoming all the many visitors as well as national and international press eagerly thronging our fine city to attend the hotly contested “New Mexico Bowl” this Saturday. I know the big game is still a few days off, but with all the hype of an epic post-season contest like this it’s a sure bet every sportswriter and ticket scalper in the nation has already made the Duke City their temporary home.

The game has already made big news around the country, with various sports pundits ranking the New Mexico Bowl anywhere from 29th to 32nd in importance and excitement out of the 32 ultra-compelling collegiate clashes over the next few weeks.

That’s high praise when you consider the New Mexico Bowl is competing with pivotal match-ups such as Florida Atlantic v. Memphis in the “New Orleans Bowl” and the scintillating Colorado/Alabama battle of 6-6 teams at the “Independence Bowl” in beautiful, exotic Shreveport, Louisiana.

Of course the real treat locally is that rabid fans of the New Mexico Lobos (who rabidly attended the last UNM home game to the tune of filling half the stadium) will get to drive only a few short miles to attend the game, unless the weather is chilly or the wind is blowing or it’s cloudy or they need to buy some holiday presents or do laundry.

Besides, being the ultra-important game it is, the New Mexico Bowl will be on national television, watched by untold hundreds of gambling addicted ESPN junkies who would gladly watch Don Schrader if he appeared on national television and they could bet on how many times he said the word “urine”.

After having almost defeated the football powerhouse San Jose State last year, this go-round the Lobos tackle another gridiron legend, the Nevada Wolf Pack. Yes, it’s Lobos v. Wolf Pack. Wow, is that interesting! It’s like the teams have the same mascot or something!

A coincidence like that can only add to the interest of the game in the same way those chirpy TV sideline reporters can when they mention 45,000 times during the upcoming telecast that UNM hasn’t won a bowl game since 1961. Or that UNM basically invented a bowl game in a cheesy attempt to finally play someone they could beat and have people stop saying things like “UNM hasn’t won a bowl game since 1961”.

Not only that, but UNM hasn’t played Nevada since 1942. Fascinating! And chock full of historical significance. Facts like these will doubtlessly add a historical context making this year’s New Mexico Bowl one long remembered by fans and creepy lovers of obscure factoids alike, at least until the playing of the tremendously important “Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl” later on Saturday.

So, welcome college football fans and media from around the world and welcome to the 2007 New Mexico Bowl! Be sure to also attend the world-famous “New Mexico Bowl Parade”, featuring a ‘61 Studebaker festooned with chile ristras as it weaves its way from Coach’s Sports Bar to University Stadium prior to the game. Unless it’s chilly or windy or cloudy, in which case we’ll just watch the game on TV at the bar.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Problems We Never Have To See

Hey, did I miss anything? I think my hibernation is just about over. Once I can clear out all the sleep boogers from my eyes I'm gonna turn on this here computer and start wasting folks' time again.

But after looking at this, maybe I should leave the sleep boogers alone...

The photo by Seattle Times photojournalist Steve Ringman showing the result of timber clear-cut + big rainstorm reminds us down here in the largely treeless Southwest that all that photocopying we do comes from some place. Ringman's photo looks to be having something of an impact on folks up Seattle way. Having driven by many a clear-cut as a resident of Washington State back in the 80s-90s, I can tell you there might be no uglier man-made thing than a clearcut.

Well, there was the Copper Queen Mine down in Bisbee:

Nope, clear-cut still got that beat. Oh well, time to go make a bunch of copies for class tomorrow.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Grass Is Always Deader On the Other Side of the Classroom

Crawling out, once again, from deep within my work bunker, now six school days from a long-awaited break that will surely be gone seemingly minutes after it begins, I pause here to put far too many commas in a sentence and write another incoherent ramble.

No, I promise this is not another in a series of "my job is hard" whiny rants. I'm sure I can think of something besides how tough the last part of this semester has been. Hmmm...still thinking.

Hey wait, instead of writing about how hard K-12 teaching is, why don't I just link to this article by Trib columnist (and soon-to-be-ex charter school substitute teacher) Joseph Crumb about how hard K-12 teaching is? Or even quote from it:

"But after three years of substitute teaching in Albuquerque's charter schools, I have a different theory as to why Johnny can't read: He doesn't want to."

Nothing is as good for the soul as finding someone more bitter than you are. I thank Joseph Crumb for making me feel better during these dark days when Winter Break seems as far away as one of Neptune's moons. Here's some more salve to soothe the bitter teaching beast:

"But read in school? Johnny is more likely to throw his hand up in a traffic-cop pose: Stop! For Johnny is determined to remain illiterate."

Another reason to wish the Tribune would last forever! Mr. Crumb is making me almost giddy with relative compassion for all things K-12. I am a veritable Mr. Chips in comparison!

Perspective is a great, great thing, and now that Mr. Crumb has me thinking, I can not only look back to my own days at a charter school (speaking of dark times of the soul), but can also remember my first year of K-12 teaching in a time/galaxy far, far away: West Mesa High School, 1993.

Man, did that job suck.

Conscious incompetence meets mid-90s gangland Albuquerque. I get creepy chills just vaguely remembering it. Better switch to yet another quote from Mr. Crumb:

"But these critics have never been in a classroom with 20 or 30 kids who have grown up believing, as a result of relentless corporate marketing, that they have an inalienable right to be entertained every minute of every day."

Ah, that's better. Maybe if I re-read Mr. Crumb's bitter ode every day from here on out I'll make it to next Friday, the 21st, and the sweet oblivion of a two-week vacation. Again, thanks Joseph Crumb. Your pain is easing my pain.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Game Called On Account of "Internal Polling"

Like some very careful burglars cleaning up fingerprints, today's ABQJournal piece by Jeff Jones cites an "internal poll" as the reason Martin Chávez gave up on running for U.S. Senate, and not sinister outside Democratic forces, i.e. Chuck Schumer and his alleged cabal of untrustworthy East Coast meddlers. According to Chavez Campaign-What Campaign? Manager Mark Fleisher:
"People like to think (it was). But ... as far as (pushing) the mayor to get out, there wasn't any of that," he said. Fleisher said he and Chávez began discussing a possible exit from the race last Monday when the Chávez camp got early results from an internal poll that "wasn't very favorable."
No, we don't get to see Marty go up against Tom in the Primary and get his swell-headed hat handed to him. Yeah, as Marjorie over at M-Pyre mentions, "I was kinda sorta looking forward to the contest." On the other hand, it's one thing to lose a Primary badly, but it's a really bad, stinky thing to barely leave the starting gate because of an "internal poll" that just has to be uglier lookin' than a truck stop bathroom. And yes, I would pay money to see this "internal poll". I am embarrassed to admit how much I would pay to see it.

Sure, nobody is necessarily going to believe Mark Fleisher or Chávez and the "internal poll" excuse, but you gotta admit that it sounds plausible because who would humiliate oneself enough to use an "internal poll" as the excuse, one that must have looked something like this:

To: Marty
From: Mark
Re: Example Question/Response From Our Polling

...Question #14:

If the election for New Mexico U.S. Senate were held today and the two candidates were Albuquerque Mayor Martin Ch
ávez and Super-Irritating TV Ad Attorney-Ambulance Chaser Russ "before you accept a quick check, check with me" Whitener , who would you vote for?
(Respondents: Whitener 81%, Ch
ávez 9%, "Can't Tell Difference Between Whitener and Chavez" 5%, Ron Bell or "that other lawyer guy with the mustache, the one that's really short, I think that's Ron Bell, right?" 5%)

So anyway, now Udall gets to idly sit on his fairly large pile of campaign cash for a while, Marty gets to focus more attention on his hyper-dysfunctional relationship with City Council, and Martin Heinrich, Darren White and others wait to find out if things are screwed up enough between Mayor and Council to get Chavez over his dislike of the continuous campaigning a U.S. House race requires.

Some of us kinda hope Councilor Debbie O'Malley and others start bringing the Mayor and his staff flowers, lattes and maybe even put aside overriding a veto here and there in the next few months. You know, make the Mayor feel at home. Okay, it's making me cringe to even suggest that.

Meanwhile, we're turning the page on the short saga known as "Marty v. Tom". It was far too brief, "flash fiction" really, but somehow... still satisfying. Especially if we really got to see that "internal poll". Viewing such enjoyable filth would be politiporn of the highest order.

P.S.: Speaking of Politiporn, I finally got around to watching the documentary "Street Fight" about the 2002 Newark mayor's race last night. Good, scary stuff. I know I give Mayor Chavez a ton of grief, but he's far from the worst mayor in the country (unless I'm missing something). Newark ex-Mayor Sharpe James might have been the worst for a number of years. Check this documentary out if you're a political junkie like me, or just want to get incredibly depressed about race relations in this country.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Deus Ex Machina: Friday Afternoon Edition

A hard week, one that left it impossible to put a grocery list together much less anything resembling a coherent thought. Not that Burque Babble is known for its coherence, thoughts or much of anything else.

Anyhow, there's been an involuntary bloggin' vacation for much of the week, replaced by several workdays in a row in which I questioned the desirability of the education profession on roughly 1.23 billion separate occasions.

Then I come home after a wild, crazy, draining, soul-deflating work week and read this.

What a great week it's been! And what a great way to go into the weekend! Work-schmerk, soul-deflating, schmoul-deflating...let's party!

P.S.: You think Marty will take back everything he said about Tom Udall being the uber-demon of anti-Lab Hell bent on destroying jobs and the New Mexican way of life?

No, I don't think so either.

Monday, December 03, 2007

...And The Horse Anybody, Anywhere Rode In On

Is it just me, or is our entire nation in the pissiest mood since "Laugh-In" was canceled? Everywhere I look people are beyond simple anger, leaps beyond snippy and moving directly into outraged and irate.

Maybe it's the intra-holiday period, made longer by an early Thanksgiving. Maybe Seasonal Adjustment Disorder has entered a new, larger, surlier phase in the days of record global warmth. Maybe we're all just mad because we can't afford to buy ourselves any presents this year.

Whatever the reason, I can't seem to go anywhere without crazy mad drivers, colleagues, blogposters, non-colleagues, older people, younger people...

and especially tonight's City Council meeting. As Dan McKay posted at ABQJournal earlier this evening, four Councilors aren't even at the meeting because they're mad at another Councilor who "repeatedly backed out of committments on who he or she would support" as next Council President.

I turned on for some juicy viewing, and Debbie O'Malley (always fun to watch for her snippy asides) was so snippy even I was cringing and had to turn the channel to ESPN's 987th rerun of the "The World's Strongest Man" contest on ESPN. And yes, all the Strongest Men candidates looked angry, too.

Okay, it wasn't actually the "World's Strongest Man" show, it was a college basketball game involving a team called Wofford. Man, you guys are so nit-picky snippy these days.

By the way, where's Wofford? Remember the old days, pre-Internet, where someone could bring up a school like Wofford to you and you'd spend three solid days obsessing about where the school was located and/or what its mascot must be. Now, it takes about four seconds to resolve the obsession.

But has this made us any happier? Can anything other than a long solid vacation at this point?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Best Email We've All Gotten In a While

From: Guild Cinema
Date: Dec 1 2007 1:17 P.M.
subject: Pornotopia-the show goes on


We have been advised by the ACLU that we may CONTINUE WITH
OURFESTIVAL. A hearing to review our case will occur on Monday,
sowhile we are not out of the woods as yet and we may still face fines
and potential jail time, we WILL go on with the show.

Hmm, we thought the USA had come to its senses about what
consenting adults can do and see, if they wish, in these 40 years
since Lenny Bruce's obscenity trials.....

Our web site, and our phone message, will be updated with any further

THANK YOU for your continued support!

- Peter & Keif / The Guild Cinema


No, I wasn't planning on going to this Festival. Yes, I'd rather the Guild was showing that fairly new Donkey Kong documentary that isn't out on DVD yet. But thanks to "local authorities", I now wouldn't mind if "Pornotopia" was held every day of every week of every year at the Guild. Even better would be if the fairly new Donkey Kong documentary could be considered part of this ongoing "Pornotopia", with Donkey Kong sex scenes added along with slavish licking of the game screen and controllers.

Those "local authorities" aren't just good at telling everyone else what they should be allowed to see, hear, perform, they're damn good promotional people! Marketing gurus extraordinaire! Thanks "local authorities" for helping make "Pornotopia" the success it will now surely be.

Peter and Keif could probably use the same treatment with the upcoming Joe Strummer documentary. Did you know, "local authorities" that Strummer was....A SOCIALIST!!! Or did you know, "local authorities" that the Guild's upcoming "King Corn" documentary says scandalous things about high-fructose corn syrup? Or that corn is a monocotyledon plant which sounds obscene and surely has something to do with sex? Plus, I think there is a sex scene in "King Corn" involving either fructose, corn or both.

Speaking of Peter and Kief, maybe if the "local authorities" follow through with their threats of fines and jail time we can set up a defense fund, fine payment collective or even offer to serve some of their jail time. Or maybe we could just stop forgetting (me included) about the vital service the Guild provides us and stop taking the place for granted. Good on ya, Peter and Kief, and thanks to the ACLU (I'd almost forgotten you existed, too....) as well.