Monday, June 26, 2006

Random Blogging Flickr Monday

"Venus and Mars are all right tonight... in the corner and side pockets, respectively."
"Are we not men?"
"Are we not men?"
"We are DEVO."
"Come again?"
Not many people realize that the band KISS originally formed when four rodeo clowns met one auspicious day in Wyoming...
"Who ever heard of freakin' SALT on a freakin' Cosmopolitan?!? I'm callin' the freakin' cocktail police... GAAAHH!! There's an albino seahorse infestation in my freakin' cell phone!!"
SWF, young 20s, enjoys long walks in the wood, salt licks, stag parties, PETA. Looking for someone to call me "dear." No fats or freaks; furries OK.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Well, that didn't take long. After lamenting the death of Yep, Another Goddamned Blog earlier in the week, it's time now to praise the birth of Welcome to Pottersville, the new site authored by JurassicPork. Somehow I just knew that he couldn't stay out of the game for long. Welcome back, JP, we hardly missed ye.

Er... I mean... good to have you back at it.

(Thanks to Tom Hilton for the tip!)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wednesday Vacation Blogging: Seattle

Seattle is one of my favorite cities. Isn't it one of yours? If it isn't, it should be. Mrs. Generik and I honeymooned there [insert: a long time ago], and I've been back a few times since then. Mrs. G had not been there since the honeymoon, but of course she had been regaled over the years with my tales of visiting there, and naturally overwhelmed by the pictures I took when I visited that amazing city without her. I love her because she's easily amazed and amused. (Shut up! I love her for other reasons too, but hey, that's important.)

We have a number of friends there, and always enjoy visiting the beautiful Pacific Northwest. As who wouldn't?

Last weekend we flew up for a few days to see some of those friends and to watch the Giants get their asses waxed, polished and handed back to them on a combo seafood platter along with some shrimp, crab and oysters. (We actually had hoped that the Giants would take it to the Mariners, but such was not the case; eeee-youch!). Leaving aside the fact that the team we went to watch sucked enormous collective sea anemone genital, I have to say that Mrs. G and I had one hell of a good time. We certainly had a better time there than the Giants did.

As who wouldn't? I mean, what a great city!

As always, click on the pictures for the larger version.

Rooms in Seattle are especially reasonable.
Like the Golden Gate Bridge here in San Francisco, the Space Needle is the signature icon of Seattle.
The obligatory shot of downtown from the observation deck of the Space Needle. The local police won't let you get past the city limits unless you can prove that you have taken this shot at least two or three times.
Mrs. Generik enjoys a piroshki and the early morning clouds.
She got the way to move me, Cherry baby...
You never know who you're going to make friends with in Seattle.
No, seriously, you really never know who you're going to make friends with there. And sometimes you don't care.

Wait... was that out loud?
Pike's Market. The Fisherman's Wharf of Seattle, except somewhat more relevant and infinitely cooler.
Professional Courtesy.
We stayed at the Hotel Max, a so-called "art hotel." Which was very cool -- they had original artwork from dozens of local artists on display throughout the building. This is one of the two pieces that were in our room. I wasn't sure it was right-side-up at first, but I grew to like it quite a bit.
The EMP -- the Experience Music Project (or make up your own interpretation of the initials). I've been inside there once, and I kind of feel like I never have to do that again. I mean, it's cool and all, but the outside is probably the best part about it. Does that make me an out-of-touch geezer... or an asshole? Or both?

Moving on, here's the roof of Qwest Field, where the 2005 Super Bowl almost-winner Seahawks play, with a big-ass cloud behind it.
I decided against getting a hair cut and a shave here. Maybe this place is the reason for that whole "grunge" look in Seattle a decade or so ago.
Down at the end of the EMP is the new SFM -- the Science Fiction Museum. It's probably pretty interesting -- provided you're interested in that sort of thing -- but Mrs. G and I just didn't have the time to check it out the way we should have. That's one thing I dislike about our whirlwind tours -- too many things to see, and not nearly enough time to see them all.
Public art is one thing, but natural art is even better. I think this is my favorite picture from the whole weekend.
We went to the Chittenden Locks at Lake Washington on Sunday, and Mrs. Generik naturally found the botanical garden. This is one reason I'm glad she did.
More arty shots of the EMP. Have you had enough yet?
Reflections of the Space Needle.
We spent a little time in the hotel lobby reflecting on... uh... the coffee table, I guess.
And here's a window treatment from the other side of the EMP that I really liked.
See, this is what I live for -- big buildings and big crowds of people. It doesn't get much better than this.
A baby Bonds juicing up before the game. He had to, just to steel himself from all the boos later on.
Inside the south side entrance to Safeco Field... there are more bats here than Carlsbad Caverns.
The field at Safeco. I'm guessing the Giants have little desire to see it again any time soon.
At Pioneer Square, the rebuilt Pergola reminds me of the arcades of Paris.
"Public art in Seattle ROCKS!"
"Public art in Seattle makes me puke!"
Bridge up at the locks.
And so we wave goodbye to Seattle.
The view from Alki, heading out of town.

The Death of Yep, Another Goddamned Blog

My pal JurassicPork wrote me yesterday to tell me that he had deleted his blog, just wiped out the whole thing entirely. Gone, kaput, finito. It's now a 404-Page Not Found spot. History.

Man, that's harsh. Blogospheric suicide. Not even abandoning the site or just curtailing the posts (like a lot of us do from time to time), but actually erasing the whole damn thing.

He started up a few months after I did, in part (as he told me at the time) because he was inspired by my efforts, and wanted an outlet for his own creative writing and interest in left-wing politics. His blog became much bigger than The Generik Brand ever will be, getting far more traffic and attention, and was known for his long posts and regular features like Assclowns of the Week, a take-off on DemocraticUnderground's Top Ten Conservative Idiots of the Week. JP never pulled any punches, and apparently made some enemies along the way, both on the right (which is a given in our line of endeavor) and on the left. From what I gather, his shutting down came in response to one too many sites admonishing him or deleting his comments or banning him altogether for disagreeing with and/or feuding with some of his more-established contemporaries. As he put it, he got out of the blogosphere in order to keep his sanity. I don't know all the particulars, and though he told me a little about what happened, I don't feel like it's something I should pass along or speculate about.

Instead I'll just say farewell, and raise a glass in salute. So long, JP, and thanks for all the rants.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Random Flickr Blogging Monday

"Hold still, Little Earl! You don't want th' divil t' snatch ya clean outta the pool afore yer backtized, do ya?"

"Glub glub glub!"

"Dang it, Little Earl! Stop foolin' around now, or there'll be no sweet p'tater pie for ya after th' evenin' service!"

Personally, I always felt the Baptists had the right idea with that full-body immersion thing -- they just never hold them under near long enough.

(Original picture here.)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What He Said

Okay, I lied, sort of. I said I wasn't going to mention that shrill right-wing harridan Ann Chupacabra here again for a while, but Peter Daou has written a guest post on Crooks and Liars concerning her appearance on the Tonight Show last night that absolutely needs to be read -- especially by folks like my pal Lanz, who insists that the Annorexic one is just a right-wing version of what he sees on the left. Daou's main thesis is not so much that the Coultergeist is a hate-filled, venomous, attention-craving attack machine (she is, but so are a lot of people who don't get the exposure she does), it's that the media in this country is complicit in spreading her bile and her fellow wingers' storylines by giving them air time and the credibility of appearing on shows like Larry King Live and Jay Leno's nightly chat-up.

Here's just a piece of the post:

Never mind that Jay Leno and George Carlin sat like trembling lambs while Coulter spewed gutter-level invective at millions of Americans - we've already seen the same obsequiousness from Larry King, Matt Lauer (who ended his faux-debate with Coulter by saying "always fun to have you") and others. The larger issue here is that despite an uproar from the progressive netroots, NBC saw fit to give Coulter a platform to continue her liberal-scapegoating and to slander women who lost their husbands on 9/11. (For the record, many rightwing bloggers denounced Coulter and several Democrats attacked her, but their focus was the substance of Coulter's words, not a criticism of the media outlets who continue to provide her a national forum.)

It's hard to deny that Coulter's words border on incitement. What she says is neither amusing nor smart nor humorous nor factual nor worthy of airing on a major media outlet. It treats a substantial segment of the population as sub-human, as creatures deserving of public scorn and worse (She said Jesus would say that "we are called upon to do battle" on liberalism). Careful not to violate Godwin's Law, I'll refrain from the obvious comparisons, but what we're dealing with here is a dangerous inflection point in American politics. When this kind of opprobrium is peddled by major media outlets, it's high time that the Democratic establishment and the larger progressive community understand that this is a make-or-break showdown with the media.

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and their ilk have made an industry out of liberal-bashing. Coulter fits in perfectly with those hate-traffickers. And contrary to the false Michael Moore comparisons made by Leno and others, there is no progressive counterpart to these people on the national stage. The basic thrust of the left's critique is that George W. Bush and his administration are bad for America. It is in our tradition for citizens to defend the Constitution and to question the actions of their elected leaders. Rightwingers may characterize it as Bush Derangement Syndrome, but the progressive community, by and large, is going after government corruption and lies, not vilifying an entire group of Americans as Bin Laden-loving traitors.

He has a lot more to say on the subject, and it's well worth a read. It's unfortunate, though, that the folks who could most benefit from his words will probably never see them. And the media continues with its courting of the Republican Noise Machine, and casual dissemination of their talking points. Witness, just as a for instance, the front page of today's SF Chronicle, with Preznit Midas In Reverse's steely-eyed visage staring out at the reader, and a story by compromised toadying hack political reporter Marc Sandalow playing up the surprise visit to Baghdad (or "'Mission Accomplished' in a business suit," as Sidney Blumenthal called it in today's on the heels of the conveniently fortuitous al Zarqawi kill. Sandalow -- and, indeed, most of the corporate media today -- would have us believe that this demonstrates the "strength" and "resolve" of this president, and that he can now expect a big bounce in the polls from the week's events, if not retention of both houses of Congress in November because of them. So far, that dog just won't hunt.

In any event, it's apparently up to those of us who aren't blindered by the corporate offerings of bread and circuses or drinkers of the right wing's Kool Aid to continue to point out that Americans are being sold a bill of goods by a powerful elite, with the completely willing help of the mainstream media. American Idle, anyone?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Naked Media Whore Exposed

Ann-orexic. mAnn Coulter. The miniskirted, Adam's-appled and bepenised spawn of Satan. You know who I mean. Other than the occasional misleading and shameless blogwhoring attempts to get new readers by posting a bogus headline reading ANN COULTER NUDE!!! once in a blue moon, I rarely mention the offensive, bony-assed skank-bag ho, the ultimate masturbatory fantasy for lonely, pimply-faced wingnut trolls everywhere, here at The Generik Brand. The reason for that is simply that she thrives on attention, be it positive or negative, and I generally feel that the best way to deal with a disgusting, hateful media slut like her is to completely ignore her. Why give her what she craves, which is simply attention? She'll say absolutely anything, no matter how outrageous or tasteless (or baseless), just to keep the cameras on her, and to keep the checks rolling in. In fact, the more outrageous the statements she makes, the more the media courts her, which is why she keeps raising her own bar for offensiveness. She vilifies and insults Americans of virtually every stripe save for her own narrow-minded, bigoted, mouth-breathing compatriots and then laughs all the way to the bank when the conservative-promoting corporate press falls all over her as the "hot blonde bad girl" saying something controversial again. "Oh, Ann, you're so outrageous! You're so over the top! Telling women whose husbands died in the 9/11 tragedy that you've 'never seen people enjoying their husbands' death so much' and then wondering if those same dead husbands weren't 'intent on divorcing those harpies anyway' is just... well, it's naughty, Ann! It's simply not done -- much -- in polite society! Tee-hee! It's a riot! You're such a card!"

Okay, then, why am I violating my own semi-rule and writing about her? (I almost wrote "writhing about her," which brings another, completely unwanted and unwarranted image to mind...) Well, partly because my friend in Southern California, Peter A. (who is not to be confused with another friend named Peter, who lives in Seattle and uses the online handle "Buffoon"), sent me an email message that I just couldn't ignore; and also because one of the few journalists that I truly respect, Greg Palast, released a book on the same day as the Princess With A Penis (6/6/06, apparently Coulter's father's birthday), and I'd like to see his book sell at least as well as hers (fat chance in today's America).

Among the things that my friend Peter mentions is that the word "coulter" means "plowshare." Could we possibly pound this repugnant pundit into that -- or something even more useful? Another suggestion he makes is that we use the acronym WINO, echoing the right-wing epithet RINO (Republican In Name Only), for the noisome flame-thrower. WINO, of course, would stand for Woman In Name Only. Finally, he wonders if skANNk isn't possibly the illegitimate mother of the Olsen twins. Oh, sorry, am I being ungallant here? Eee-yeah. Bummer, bitch.

The other reason that I bothered to post about the WASP-version of Michelle Malkin is that I read that the local paper in the aggravating harridan's hometown has published an open letter to her mother, as if it would do any good. So consider my job here done. I promise not to mention the name of the most disgusting and offensive spokes-skank again for a long time... unless, of course, I run across some pictures of her naked.


Excuse me while I go puke just thinking about the possibility.

***UPDATE*** Open letter link fixed. Thanks, SSM.

Random Flickr Blogging Monday

Andres Serrano produced many lesser-known works after the infamous Piss Christ, like this one, for instance: Piss PowerPoint Presentation.

(The original image was posted by forgemind0003 here. My thanks to Tom Hilton for a new imaging-captioning addiction -- like I needed one!)

Friday, June 09, 2006

DIY Impeachment

Hey kids -- we don't have to wait for a sea-change in Congress or for Nancy Pelosi to open her eyes as to what her constituents and the nation really, really want -- here's a website that makes it clear that we, as United States citizens, can potentially bring about the impeachment of George W. Bush ourselves. spells out how you can petition Congress to bring articles of impeachment, and even gives you a downloadable .pdf form with instructions to send off to your particular Congressional representative. Check it out, download and fill out the form. The plan on the site is to have a huge mass-mailing of these petitions on October 12th, so you have plenty of time to get prepared. But really, why wait? Go now, and spread the word!

Thanks to my brother for the link.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

They Wanna Hear Some American Music

To paraphrase Jon Landau, "I have seen the past, and its name is Bruce Springsteen."

Last night, the Satanic Tuesday, June 6 -- 666, 06/06/06, or however you or the millenialists want to abbreviate it -- I witnessed a religious experience, a revival, if you will, out in the East Bay city of Concord that will stay with me for the rest of my days. Fortunately, I didn't have to handle any snakes -- Mrs. Generik did ask if we would have to before the show was over, and she wasn't being completely facetious, given the tenor of the show -- but I absolutely felt the spirit move me, and move me with great authority. Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band put on a show that moved me and a few thousand of my closest friends like few shows have moved me before.

Bruce came out late (rumor had it that he got lost on the way to the venue -- good thing, too, because my pal Marty and Mrs. Generik and I didn't get there until twenty minutes after the show was scheduled to start), but he still played for nearly three hours, and absolutely rocked the damn house. I mean, I haven't experienced a more powerful Bruce show since the first time I saw him in 1978.

"Good evening, sinners... and Concordians!" he said, to start off the show. Dressed like a revival preacher and playing the living hell out of his acoustic guitar, Bruce exhorted his fans to let him take them along on his latest musical and personal venture. The crowd immediately bought into the revival meeting atmosphere, and was well rewarded when the 76-piece band (it might have been somewhat smaller than that, but it sure seemed that big, if not bigger) overwhelmed everyone there with their immaculate chops. There were guitars, a banjo, keyboards, fiddles, a Dobro slide guitar, accordion, stand-up bass, percussion, backup singers, and more tambourines than a Salvation Army recruiting squad. One review I read called it the "Wall of Folk," and I think that might be the most apt description I've seen.

This show was all about America, and Americana. It was a show comprised not of Bruce's usual rock anthems, but of Pete Seeger's folk songs, tunes from the American songbook over the past three centuries, gospel, western swing, ragtime, rockabilly, boogie-woogie, traditional Celtic rhythms, radically reworked original tunes like Johnny 99, Atlantic City, Ramrod and Devils & Dust, and so much more. All of this was driven by an incredibly dirty -- and by that I mean fucking talented and absolutely KILLING, especially the trumpet -- horn section that put the New Orleans staple Dirty Dozen Brass Band to shame; a horn section that added a distinct raw and raucous Dixieland flavor to every song. It was almost an embarrassment of riches. No, it WAS an embarrassment of riches. It was an amazing and inspiring show. As my friend Marty said later, "I never would have believed that I would see an entire audience standing up and singing along to 'Froggie Went A-Courting' in my lifetime." And yet they did. And they enjoyed it.

Even better than the fact that he played all those American songs was that he turned so many of them into contemporary commentaries on the American situation today. He seamlessly connected the American songbook that so many of us are familiar with with the present-day situations we are faced with, from the oppression of the working class to the debacle in Iraq.

Here is the setlist from the show, and thanks to my good friend Marty for this:

John Henry
O Mary Don't You Weep
Johnny 99
Old Dan Tucker
Eyes on the Prize
Jesse James
Atlantic City
Erie Canal
My Oklahoma Home
Devils & Dust
Mrs. McGrath
How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
Jacob's Ladder
We Shall Overcome
Open All Night
Pay Me My Money Down (w/ Joan Baez)
Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam)
Rag Mama Rag
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
Froggie Went A Courtin'
When the Saints Go Marching In

It fucking rocked, and it rocked hard, and if you missed it, you missed one of the great shows of the early 21st century, and I feel sorry for you.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hate Mail From Some Coward

An Open Letter to the Person Who Sporadically Sends Me Hate Mail When He Reads a Letter in the Newspaper from Me That He Doesn't Agree With:

Dear Cowardly Anonymous Troll --

Thank you very much for your latest missive. I especially appreciated the fact that you took the time to cut the letter I wrote out of the Sunday Datebook section of the SF Chronicle and write "BULL SHIT!" on it with your Sharpie. You have a fine handwriting style, bold and, dare I say, almost delicate in its firmness. Using all capital letters let me know that you are not fooling around here. I also liked how you defied the conventional wisdom and spelled out "BULL SHIT" as two separate words. You're definitely not a crowd-follower.

The text of the accompanying message itself leaves little doubt as to how you feel about the whole Stephen Colbert-White House Correspondent's Dinner affair, or, at least, Chronicle columnist Neva Chonin's take on it. And your assessment of my intelligence remains about the same as always, it would seem. You're obviously a man of strong convictions, albeit one who apparently doesn't have the courage to identify yourself or give a return address with which I might correspond with you. Over the years, I've occasionally had the desire to engage you in conversation or debate, but alas, you give me no way to do that with your calculated anonymity.

Just to let you know, despite your friendly attempt to address me as a chum, a pal, an acquaintance of long-standing ("Rickey, old boy..."), I should let you know that no one in my life has ever called me "Rick" or "Rickey." Where you got that, I don't know. I'm guessing you adopted it yourself as a means of luring me into the body of your message by presenting a false sense of camaraderie before you got to the part where you inform me that I have "shit for brains" and my "head up (my) ass." If so, may I say that I wasn't exactly fooled.

Double-underlining the word "Puke!!" after your rhetorical question ("You 'love' Neva's column?") was a nice touch, as was the stamp on the envelope with the picture of Bill Clinton in stripes and behind bars. I suppose you believe that I worship at the altar of All Things Clinton (Hillary, Bill, Chelsea, Billary, whatever), but the truth is that I'm really not so much of a fan of any of them -- although I did appreciate the fact that when Bill was president, we had a surplus and not nearly so much shredding of the Constitution. I suppose that from your perspective, the Clintons are dreaded "ultra-liberals;" but from my perspective, which is so far left of you as to be infra-red to your ultra-violet, the Clintons seem like moderate, Republican-Lite appeasers in many instances. I don't expect that you'll understand this point of view, but I thought I should share that with you just in case.

I notice that the postmark on this particular letter -- which was sent last Friday, and arrived in my mailbox yesterday -- was from Santa Clarita. I have to say, I actually preferred the one that you mailed from Napa a couple years ago. The reason for that was the line in that older one where you said that "Bush is GREAT GREAT GREAT!!!!!" (I may have left off an exclamation point or six; my memory is not what it once was.) I appreciate people with enthusiasm in their convictions. But there was no mention of your favorite president in this latest letter, and I have to say that I found that just a bit disappointing.

Anyway, in conclusion, thank you once again for thinking of me. I'll keep sending letters to the newspaper if you promise to keep sending me snail mail with your opinion of my positions. It would be really great, however, if, in the future, you sign your name or include a return address so that we might engage in a dialogue afterwards. These one-sided conversations are so unproductive!

Sincerely yours, etc.

Monday, June 05, 2006


"Do you believe in fairies, punk? Well, do ya? I gotcher fairy right here!"

In later years, after all that Neverland nonsense was just a dim memory, Wendy took to working as a motivational speaker and consultant in corporations all across the United States. With her faithful partner Tinkerbell and a personalized aluminum Louisville Slugger, she specialized in whipping some of the more recalcitrant "Lost Boys" in the corporate world back into line.

Executives attending one of Wendy's seminars later reported that they ended up more motivated by her tough love approach than by any "pussy Tony Robbins blather" or even a weekend symposium culminated by walking on coals.

(What's this about? See the post at If I Ran the Zoo, here.)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Dreamin' in Dreamland

I had a dream. I dreamed that George W. Bush was put on trial for all his crimes and malfeasance; tried for lying and spying and war crimes and attempting to subvert the Constitution of the United States. Tried for misleading the country into war, for turning a record surplus into the biggest deficit the country has ever seen, for ruining the environment, for condoning torture, for warrantless eavesdropping on American citizens, for helping his corporate cronies get obscenely wealthy on the backs of the middle class, for making the gap between rich and poor in this country look like the Grand Canyon by giving unnecessary tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us, for outing a covert CIA agent just for personal revenge, for using a national tragedy to strike fear in the hearts of his countrymen solely for the purpose of partisan ideology, for squandering every ounce of goodwill that the rest of the world had once shown us, and simply for being the most incompetent, overmatched and singularly unqualified individual to ever hold the office of President of the United States. In my dream, he was tried and convicted, and put in jail for the rest of his natural life. It looked something like this...

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