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September 2000 fawny.blog archives

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Redheads are a biological error

Golly. Morons.org, in a stunning parody of Dr. Laura, notes redheadedness is a biological error and quotes the Orthodox blowhard's denunciation of the chosen 5%. Whom do they link to? The Redhead Cluster Phenomenon!


“Sexy Boy”:
Rather not so simple

Rendez-vous with person from good job tonight. After a day that started at 0545, on an empty stomach, amidst protein crash, after double espresso, competing with loud ambient music.

Walking down the street later, I pass a dead cat. Grandma and britneyspearsesque nymphet kvetch over how it's the neighbours' cat, but they didn't answer their door, and how Grandma doesn't want to take responsibility. I explain that the only legal way to dispose of a dead animal in Toronto is cremation.

My orange tabby Garf, rescued from the Humane, had epilepsy, which I believe I caused by feeding him outdated vegan cat food. (Don't you dare tell me cats are obligate carnivores. Cats require taurine, which can be and is synthetically produced, and an appropriate nutrient mix. My VegeCat was stale. In essence, I caused an imbalance in my cat's neurotransmitters.) One evening, I returned home – this was back when I had one – and called out "Kitty?


The Woman's Intuition told me the rest, confirmed a moment later. Garf could reach the kitchen counter (as he often did when I opened the nutritional yeast for his food, which drove him apeshit; he also fancied asparagus). I only missed him much later on, confirming a pattern wtih dead friends.

As a boy, I walked to school in the bitter cold and happened upon a petrified ice sculpture of a cat curled up as if in sleep. As were Garf, and the wee female cat of tonight. Cats die with decorum when possible, save for the poor creature I once witnessed run over.

In the weeks before adopting Garf, I lay in bed and heard myself thinking: What kind of a life am I leading without a cat? Usually what I hear in bed are the related but unfinished sentences “I love _____” (the underscores are visible; the thought is self-captioning) and “I miss (my) _____” (again with the underscores, and the word "my" half-expressed, as if giving myself leeway in filling in the blanks).

The answers, years ago, were B‌r‌e‌t‌t D. Stewart, a man I'd known for years and stuck by through thick and thin (depression, drug addiction, unemployment, divorce on his part) for a decade, who, in May 1999, forsook me forever, and Ian, my dead friend Ian Stephens, the entirely forgotten Montreal journalist-poet-musician (Diary of a Trademark, Queer in Amerika, Disappointed a Few People).

But those are yesterday's answers. Presently, and for months, the underscores have remained blank. Briefly, behind door number one lay Nick, but he came and went as fast as a Doppler effect; it was too hard to get a fix on him to write in his name in a large enough point size to satisfy my subconscious. Or whomever is triggering these questions.

As my new friend from the new job and I got up to leave, the last song to blast was "Sexy Boy," by Air, the otherworldly single that, like classic art, feels like it has existed throughout time. Now, when I think back to boyhood, I listened to "Sexy Boy." Like zapping remote controls and answering machines back to the future in Swoon.

However, the cat, like Ian, remains dead, I do not yet have the job, and the underscores shall remain empty.

Yes, I know, very dramatic. "I like being tragic, Ma" – Rose, The Joy Luck Club.


Yesterday the Toronto Star published my blistering but very-well-documented op-ed piece on how the CRTC is set to blow it on captioning and audio description for digital TV. An annotated, hyperlinked version is of course available.

(That file is one of several hundred at my bespoke site, joeclark.org, where all but a handful look like 1995-era plain-Jane HTML documents, as indeed they are. The old electricseed.com site is down, apparently forever, because my friend Len is refusing to pay the bill at his ISP.)

Spent three and a half days in solitary confinement in the back of cars, which exude toxic fumes, documenting an automotive scan tool. (Which cars? What tool? Wait till next week. You couldn't possibly guess. I guarantee it.) First draft of the manual is done: I've reduced 300 pages of fractured foreign English-like word processing to 72 pages of very comprehensible, well-illustrated prose. Literally any idiot could run that machine now. I can. I am now qualified to analyze the electronic diagnostic systems on any car. And that's without holding a driver's license.

Two more phases of the project to complete, not to mention thoroughly checking that manual. So why is everyone asking me if I'm going to be there another week? That was the plan. And is.


Brill's Content magazine is really quite brill. Why haven't I been reading it all this time? I have three issues and only now have finished all the juicy articles in the first two. It's that good.

From an article, not online, on Leonardo Chiariglione, "father of MP3":

Though MP3 inspired leagues of self-styled prophets and pundits to oppose copyright, Chiariglione says they are nothing but "Marxist." He scoffs, "How completely incommensurate with human nature."

Have spent the past two workdays in solitary confinement in the back of a car (two, actually) documenting an automotive diagnostic tool. The screens in question can be summoned only if the tool is connected to an OBD-II in a working car (two of whose systems we broke for a moment to produce error codes). At least I get to run the radio, and, surreptitiously, the CD player.

I heartily concede that small-talk-style Weblog updates of this calibre are an onanistic waste of time. I am putting in time until this posting ends. No NUblog updates, except maybe this weekend (ClickZ and BCE/Thomson are so overwhelming it is causing option paralysis).

Actually, that link is useful: Generation X Neologisms. The novel genuinely is historically significant, and the sheer usefulness of Coupland's many neologisms shines nearly ten years later. Beats rather the shite out of Jargon Watch, though the sincerity of the seldom-updated Jargon Scout remains appreciated.

From Jargon Scout:


Tom Whore proposes the term laganoia for the fear, engendered by network lag, of being ignored, shunned, or left behind. The condition can be triggered by delayed email replies, long silences in IRC conversations, dead spots in internet telephony interactions, or even (for those not living on Internet time) out-of-order Usenet posts.

/msg honeybunn3 do you love me
*** [ and the night wore on -- ed. ]
/msg honeybunn3 fine ill take tht as a no
(Disconnect LuvRBoy)
**HoneyBunn3  yes I love you
**HoneyBunn3  what do you mean by that

I have endured surprisingly profound feelings about the GrGr manqué, described below. I've been through this before – among other cases, while standing in front of Troy Aikman as he pulled on his underwear. A tall, handsome, well-built, arrogant invert can nonetheless be lonely need me.

I was supposed to write to the real Greg Graffin today. I set up the snatchmail this morning and everything. What is wrong with me?


À la recherche du Greg Graffin manqué

Tower Records did not have the new PunkPlanet, and I was not much in the mood to ride to Bathurst and check Rotate This, the only other source in town.

Unshackled the bike and was fidgeting with the U-lock when I espied the now-infamous Greg Graffin manqué cycling by. Graffin is, of course, the tall, arrogant, peaches-'n'-cream-complected chanteur-songwriter of Bad Religion, whose mailing list I run. (Articles. Photographs. Haikux.) I have met and corresponded with l'homme Graffin ("GrGr"), who remains something of an enigma.

This guy is riding by in his usual summer gear: An extra-large white T-shirt that hugs the meat and too-long black cycling shorts. And the perennial dead-giveaway itty-bitty backpack; when will he ever learn?

I watch him for a few metres or so, continue futzing with the lock, look the other way to see if he's looking back. Now, here's a first: He is.

Well. Maybe I do need to visit Rotate after all. Isn't it the same direction the GrGr manqué is heading?

I catch up to him at University. Gosh, even after all these years, and with all that muscle, he rides a bike half as fast as I do. Very bow-legged on the left side. I pass him. I signal a right turn at John, but do a Uey and wait at the corner. He cycles by and appears not to notice me. I follow him. He turns at Beverley. Oh, well, I think, wondering if he's heading to the U of T gym.

A third of a block later, there he is again on Queen. ¿Qué? At Spadína, he crosses traffic to the southeast corner and waits for the light. I grin to myself and head on over to Rotate, where there isn't an ish of Punk Planet to be found anywhere.

On the way back, Joe Orton yet again hovers spectrally over my shoulder exclaiming "What are you waiting for, a singing telegram?" It's happened over and over again – last time, it was a Texan sailor. Buddy stopped at the corner not to use the TD bank machine but as an invitation for me to stop.


I rode around for a while, rather wishing he were eartagged with a GPS transceiver, kicking myself over and over and over.

What's the big deal? Well, check the history.

<2000.01.30> (begin)
Last night, while taking the metro home after a disappointingly platte night at the Beagle, who should be seated in the Designated Waiting Area but the GrGr surrogate mentioned in BRMLs?

<1999.06.23> (begin)
Here in the province of Toronto, we find the standard stratification of gay culture seen in every big city. Big, muscley fags won't have anything to do with fags who aren't big and muscley. And I mean anything, not even saying hello, which itself is illegal in Toronto, or even engaging in eye contact. Many of these fags are, in fact, drug-addled steroid abusers who shave their body hair and spend every weekend in K-holes or destroying neurons with E. At least the clones in the '70s had some hair, did not resort to bioengineering to increase musculature, and looked more or less male. (Circuit-party types, all of whom are absolutely identical, fail to realize that their hairlessness and shirtlessness and tighty short-shorts make them look like overgrown babies, which they indeed are.)

In days of yore, I worked out at Gold's Gym, a disagreeably working-class dive. One of the big muscley fags there had stereotypically perfect proportions, being 6'2" with broad shoulders, a narrow waist, and arms and legs just the right length. Dirty-blond hair. Looks just like Greg Graffin, were Greg in slightly better shape.

This fellow, who has the tiniest dick in town when flaccid (seeming all the tinier because of his height and musculature), surpasses every other nancy boy in town in condescending to me. He does this without saying a word. It's pretty easy when you're a head taller than me. Sort of looking down at me and smirking a bit, then looking decisively away.

I keep running into this man.
</1999.06.23> (end)

<1997.02.06> (begin)
Something said I should really go to the grocery store, more or less that instant, to snag some cereal and other essentials. I wandered around, found the cereal, found the apple juice, and even found a new soy beverage (sic) from a major cow dairy. Something told me to walk to the other end of the store. (I get these intuitions all the time. The trick is to heed them.) Standing near one of the bulk candy bins was this sandy-blond dude, about six-three, who is known to have quite an excellent body if not dick. He is unfortunately also the attitude queen of death. We've attended the same gyms and passed each other on a surprisingly wide array of streets. He literally does look at me and glance away immediately as if to scoff and say "How the fuck could you ever imagine I'd give you the time of day?"

So there he was again, right in front of me. I hightailed in the other direction, not feeling like being condescended to any more than I already had been today. I went through the checkout. I then doubled back into the store, very much revved up (8:00 is a high-energy point in the circadian rhythm), and walked pretty much on autopilot, knowing I would pass by the Man eventually. There he was at the flesh counter (wearing a mid-thigh leather jacket, decent jeans, good boots), with a nearly-full shopping basket, something that cannot be made to look butch, and clutching a grocery flyer in his thumb. How domestic, I thought condescendingly, and walked past him. He noticed me, or deigned to notice me, just at the last possible moment of eye contact.

So I headed home and soon it occurred to me that all this was too cosmic to be coincidental, and if I had mustered the courage to violate Toronto City Bylaw Nº 1 ("Thou shalt not talk to strangers") and Toronto Queer Bylaw Nº 0 ("Thou shalt speak to every homosexualist the instant you make eye contact or be forever barred from speaking with him again") and said something, maybe he would have been revealed as less of an attitude queen.

What cinches the cosmic fated nature of this colossal mistake of mine is the fact that the Man looks very much like GrGr. They could be brothers.

So I dunno, there's heartbreak all around.
</1997.02.06> (end)

He is seen walking the Danforth alongside a man with black hair and tacky Adidas clothing who looks like a Russian volleyball coach from the 1980s. While in a car in the borough of East York in springtime, the man and the Russian volleyball coach were seen meeting up at a streetcorner, both on bikes and both carrying hockey sticks. He was in line behind me at the bulk store, making me feel self-conscious for buying Edensoy. Walking down Church St. with the volleyball coach and heading into Woody's. And, most annoyingly, a couple of months ago he and the coach were stopped at a corner looking at houses for sale posted in a realtor's window. Black slacks, good shoes, a pearlescent white silk polo shirt. All sprayed on, all looking fabulous.

[Someone I knew] recalls seeing this faux-GrGr on the subway. He was seated, the faux-GrGr standing. Through eye contact, body language, and an "enormous member" growing in his pants, the faux-GrGr signalled that my friend should follow him. For some reason, he didn't.

The real GrGr is sometimes as arrogant, but at least he gives me the time of day. One could imagine how GrGr would look with his doppelganger's wardrobe.

Dressed in his black pants, his OK shoes (need a shine), and his hip-length leather jacket. Maybe he was a bit tense, or was merely showing off, because his feet touched the floor only at the toe, making the calves discernible under the slacks. But, as is always the case with this guy, there's a pesky detail that kills the butch look. Last night it was his red scarf, too long by a foot, too wide by half that, and too prominent dangling in front of his coat.

I walked by coolly. Then I decided I was tired of this guy, and shared a subway car with him, giving him the multiple dead-in-the-eye stares. He is very classically handsome, looks startlingly like GrGr, all the way down to the peaches-and-cream complexion, and makes it hard for a lad not to feel a bit of the ol' magnetism.

He tried to avoid me at Yonge and Bloor, and almost did. What would I say to him?
</2000.01.30> (end)

This is the kind of icy purgatory to which the unlucky invert is relegated. It's exactly what led me to doubt love at first sight, since recanted.

He thinks he's hot shit. Well, he's no match for me. Tall, pushy fags expect guys to roll over. With me, I give back what I get, and then some. Just what they need sometimes. It's the oddball, quasi-oxymoronic concept limited all but solely to inverts: The aggressive bottom. They can't survive without men like me.

I seem to have missed my big chance to make such a case.

And as for my question "What would I say to him?" the answer provided by Thomas Anonymous on the BRML was: "Can you sing 'The Henchman'?"

I guess my fate is clear. The next time I see him, it's gonna go like this:

– There's something I've been meaning to ask.

– Oh?

– Do you know who Greg Graffin is?


Young, very masculine man gets out of the passenger side of a new Beetle, his gf unit fussing on the driver's half. "I mean contact on the ice, not in the showers," he states in a French accent.

Took the eetcarstray home. The driver, unlike typical grizzled or adipose working-class vulgarians seated in such chairs, is a blond fellow of at most 28 years. 6'4", skinny but well-defined, quite short hair. It was a casual Friday – a miserable practice for public servants – so the lad wore blue jeans, a blue-and-white checked shirt, and a quilted vest, hiked up near his neck because he failed to pull it down when he sat in the driver's chair. (Cf. Albert Brooks in Broadcast News.) Shades were parked on his head.

I sat, as usual, at the back. Then it occurred to me how unusual the driver was, so I sashayed up to the frontmost seat, which, by incredible coincidence, happens to face the driver. He had a severe Germanic look and a good, big nose, and after 20 minutes I decided he'd been spending a number of months continually tamping down a lid on his dissatisfaction with piloting a rail car in a straight line all day and night.

It's partly generational. Public transit is a no-exit lifer's job, though high-paying. He's too young for this line of work. He's generally competent, and has the facility with button-pushing shared by everyone who grew up with computers. (The intercom beeped. He glanced at the screen and read it while his arm was instantly reaching out to the shut-up button. He opens and closes doors and runs signal lights with economical, virtually automatic motions. And yes, I have seen drivers put their entire torsos into hitting a switch. They're the old farts.)

In fact, the air was "I have this job nailed." An ambulance appeared behind us, and the driver stopped and actuated the four-ways as though doing so were rudimentary and he ought to be engaged in something more significant.

Another eetcarstray passed. A very restrained little levering of the hand at the wrist that passed for a wave. Our man flubbed the next stop announcement: "Bathurst." Puts phone down. Pause. Picks phone up (again with the technofacility: he rests it on his leg and lifts it only far enough to be audible.) "Parliament Street."

He's too young, tall, blond, and intense to be so unhappy. Find a real job, kiddo.

As though that's particularly easy.


1985, Montreal, winter – Hover outside Garage, reigning fagbar de l'époque, on a sidestreet (Montcalm) in the fur district metres north of St. Catherine off Parc. Sounds central? Nope. You had to walk up onto a covered concrete platform between the two neighbouring buildings (like a loading dock; maybe it was one once), then downstairs to a back rear door. Hover-hover-hover. Mill about on weekend nights for ages. Spot guys kicking empty cardboard boxes around, making the place look like the most natural spot on earth.

2000, Toronto, summer – Hover outside food bank, whose stoop is populated by poor-for-generations folk loading up second-hand cardboard boxes with donated food. A dépanneur across the street conveniently has a fence with flowers and plants for cover. Even in my hat, I can stand there and surveil. Just like old times.

Direct quote from my dear landlady:

In the past, with your actions and letters, we have felt that you have corrupted the peaceful enjoyment of the environment that we live in. I will take whatever action is necessary to preserve the integrity of our life here.

Except that "our" life includes mine.


Well, fuck me for telling it like it is. No one ever is interested in bad news. Not that I didn't know that already. Why else do I typically answer the question "How are you?" with "Adequate"?

OL gig is OK, really, but it's in Markham. Even with lifts halfway in both directions, that's three hours of the day eaten up. (And I have figured out how to eat, mostly, this week.) If the gig lasts the budgeted-for 110 hours, I am more or less substantially out of trouble.

It's technical editing for an automaker (and I don't drive!). Very spartan office, and I worked nine full hours today.

And got up at 5:45.

Like the recruitrix for the "good job." Now I wait. (Which I just typed as "wate," then "waite." 5:45!) I am not entirely good at waiting.

Jesus fuck, The Family Guy is hilarious. I hanker to quip stewiësquely, the new cultural high-water mark.


And you think I'm obsessed

Yes, I run a redhead obsessif page. But that pales in comparison to the Tims' exploration of why Hello Kitty Has No Mouth. (Cf. "An East German with an Italian name managed to repair my Hello Kitty key fob.")

It must, however, be pointed out that Hello Kitty is officially mouth-equipped:

I have asked Yamaguchi why so many cute Japanese characters have no mouth. At Sanrio alone, the muted legions include Hello Kitty, Pochacco, Cathy the bunny, Nutz, Chococat, and Cookie-Bau. Might this fit in with the helpless aspect of kawaii? If submissiveness is part of the appeal of cute, what better than to have no mouth at all?

"Kitty has a mouth," Yamaguchi states flatly. Spread open on the table is an issue of the glossy magazine/catalog Kitty Goods Collection. I look again: The damn cat has no mouth.

"It's hidden in the fur," Yamaguchi insists.

"But –"

"She has one."

What happened at the Eagle? Talked with the delightful skinhead boys again. Trevor complains that Marc won't say he loves him. I explained, à répétition, that some men cannot bring themselves to utter the words, but the underlying fact remains. It's a struggle between the verbal and non-verbal.

Of course, both the lads have jobs, homes (Marc's rents were due today to help plumb his new townhouse for Ethernet), and bfs. Three outta three.


Extremely concerned. Unclear about OL work alleged to be starting next week, delayed payment from which makes me late for the rent, the first stage in homelessness. Not entirely clear how I will afford bus fare to and from Markham and lunch for this gig.

Almost no human contact whatsoever for a month. It was textbook castaway/desert/oasis to run into Ron (op cit) at the Toolbox on Thursday. In a case of recency effect, Ron adjudged that I was "reeling" from getting shitcanned from OLing this week (not really: it was all about money), while he is "reeling" from his positive reviews and having met a tall skinhead artist of indeterminate European extraction.

Nice with the arm around the shoulder, though.

Am being headhunted for a good job, but I did not heed the Woman's Intuition and insist on meeting the recruitrix on Friday when she rang, which, as it turned out, I coulda done. Now I have to figure out how to schedule it in, and that fucking nonsense – I don't go to lunch let alone leave an OL job for an interview – is what triggered the exercise in frustration known as Stood Up by Microsoft.

This recruitrix can handle me, but can her client? As ever, it becomes a question of "Do you want to do nouveaux médias the way they've always been done in Toronto – aping what the Americans did, but a year late, half-arsed, at 1/3 the budget – or do you want someone smart who will tell you the right way to do it?"

My old site is down, and I don't know why. I surmise that my friend, who owns the electricseed.com domain, has not paid his bill, or has simply pulled the plug. Either way, that site is offline (no big deal: everything has been moved to joeclark.org), but all my mail is sitting in limbo there, possibly forever. Nearly everyone on earth knows to reach me only at that address.

CompuServe complained that I was using too many hours on my sponsored account, but I explained that I negligently did so and could live within their limits, and I've been re-upped, as the Hollywood types say.

These online problems happened within hours of each other (and within hours of everything's being A-OK on Friday morning).

I suppose I could go to the Eagle tonight. I suppose I could ride my bike there, but unlike other people as poor as I am, I don't travel light on my bike and, while I have sashayed into the Eagle in winter in shorts, jacket, and helmet, attracting more-than-sufficient attention, that approach won't work when it is still technically summer.

An op-ed piece I wrote for the Star (with advance approval of topic and angle) may not run. That would be a crowning disappointment.

And get this: Further rounding out a theme of the last year, a Mexican likes me. (He is none of the Mexicans blogged anywhere on these or other of my pages.) He's bowled over and vaguely insane with desire, in fact. But I have been so tense that I am miserable company; since he's a sensitive lad, this rather puts him off. But I'm so worried and distracted I don't feel a thing.

For the one or two of you who managed to read Blogging Nick before I excised it from this site last week, rest assured that it was not deleted for any reasons other than Woman's Intuition and failing to meet a literary standard. I wrote something nearly ten years ago along those lines that, while one-quarter the length, is a hundred times as good. You'd think I'd do it at least as well the second time.

Everyone else seems to be doing OK. When do I catch a break? And remember, dear friends, not all of this can be attributed to the deep-seated, intrinsic personality defects invariably advanced as the source of my troubles.


If you're wondering what's happening at electricseed.com (home to my old site), so am I. Suddenly one cannot visit that site, and the mail server is choking on my password. I wonder if my plug has been pulled. The address joeclark à commercial joeclark.org will, however, reach me.

Rather embarrassing.

Now available: The Clarkspeak Lexicon. Finally, you too can dig the argot.

The white Mexicans of the Black Eagle

An odd night at the Black Eagle. Seated by the pool table was strawberry-blond Olympic silver medalist Mark Leduc, whom I only recognized after I walked past. I debated for a moment, then headed back to chat him up. Hi, Mark. Do you remember me? Joe Clark. About five years ago –

Yeah, he says, I remember, and then gets right up to play pool. It was, I guess, his turn.

I turn to his tall Latino bf, Diego, and say hello. I ask them how they met. At the Barn. How romantic.

Who is better off? I ask, a typical How to Win Friends and Influence People question of mine. Diego produces the smartest possible answer: Both.

I look over at Mark, still in ravishing condition, and dressed rather sexily. (Later, at the Barn, I would get a closer look. Some kind of pants he was wearing, with décolleté like a sexy blouse, only on the wrong half of the body facing the wrong way.) I look back at Diego.

You know, Mark's always been like this, I tell Diego. He's always had a carefully-calibrated priority list of everyone who wants his attention. And I'm down here, I say, motioning to about 3/5 from the top.

Diego just grins noncommittally.

Meanwhile, upstairs, the unexpected image of a very noteworthy 6'4.5" American in a baseball cap, jeans, and sweatshirt, with really all the right proportions, particularly forearms, talking to a late-50s dude in a mullet two heads shorter than him.

The mullethead was fuzzy and expansive in so many ways, being corpulent, hairy, and saggy-skinned in his open-necked shirt. The many faded tattoos on forearms and biceps were All the Wrong Kind.

Picture my surprise to overhear that he spent ten years in the clink. Mullethead expounded volubly to the tall American.

– Fuck. I'm Canadian. I'm a proud Canadian. When shit hits the fuckin' fan, we're gonna stick by you. We're gonna be there. The Plains of Abraham. Fuck. We beatchez there. But something happens, we got no choice. We're gonna fuckin' be there.

How did that come up? And this guy was a living outtake from Oz. I've never heard so many variations of the word fuck. And drunk. Not as drunk as the American, but a loud drunk. And nasty.

For over in the corner, uncomfortably close by, were two very homely, very plain men in jeans and T-shirts. One attempted to administer a blowjob; the other was more concerned with his friend's nipples. They seemed to know the American's name, since they yelled it out at one point: "Ricky!"

And also close by were these vaguely tragic late-30s queens, one of whom was actively sizing me up after telling his friend, outfitted in very severe rectangular glasses, "I have HIV." Wow, that's headline news in a leather bar. The positoid confided that the mullethead uttered the word "nigger" so loudly he was audible across the room, and the bartender came over to tell him to cool it.

But let's not fast-forward quite yet. Ricky readjusts his baseball cap. A suedehead look. Excellent head shape, dark skin, darkest eyes still discernible as brown this side of Yokohama. Back on my stool, I had made the standard eye contact with the American, with as much effect as a neutrino whizzing through the earth. Shortly the American says "Well, actually, I'm –" but, echoing the recent Microsoft experience, the key word was missing.

– Well. OK. Shit. The Indians. We've done a lot of shit to them. OK. You had slavery. We beat the shit outta the Indians. Inside, there were a lot of those guys.

And I'm thinking, if this guy is an aboriginal, he's the first and only sexy native I've ever seen.

For some reason, the American pecks the mullethead on the lips. Quick trip for more beer by the American. The positoid is still sizing me up. More of this astoundingly aggressive, rural-tavern diatribe from the mullethead, and more of the grins and sweetly standing there taking it from Ricky.

Then suddenly the mullethead walks smartly away, for good.


Ricky tries to strike up conversations with the two homely lovers and the tragic queens. I'm not having this. What did you have to say to finally get rid of him? I asked. Nothin', he says.

You're from the South? Texas. What the hell are you doing here? He gives me a dirty look. Won't even say if he's on vacation or what. Turns out he's Mexican, but no hablamo español. I'm a white Mexican, he says.

Watch out during the Olympics, he says. The Americans are gonna cream us. Except for the Australians, I tell him. Home-court advantage. Ricky's over with the homely lovers. He eventually notices me, again, through the haze of beer.

– What do you want? he asks twice, with manifest hatred.

The second time, he makes "Go 'way, kid, you bother me" gestures. And not in the butchest way imaginable, either. What we have here is a tall, well-put together baseball-player type imbued with vast queeniness, making the actors in Priscilla look like Chuck Norris, Steve McQueen, and Clint Eastwood driving an 18-wheeler across the Outback.

The tragic queen who wasn't sizing me up suggests I fuck off, too.

– Well, that's two votes to leave, I respond, and sit down on a nearby stool, not undefiantly.

The positoid has a thing for body hair. Isn't that interesting, I said. Ricky queened out a bit more, and, like his ex-con friend, disappeared into the ether.

Tiny, one-piece fetishism

How'd you like a Macintosh Color Classic souped up to a G3? My faith in humanity was restored on reading of a ragtag global posse of Macintosh insurgents–cum–Color Classic fetishists who paint and upgrade the old, lovable machine beyond all normal decency. The end result is a Strong Color Classic. The iMac as God intended.

Office or mausoleum?

Imagine an office, working in an industry of unrelenting tedium and glamourlessness (Cf. "Why Accountancy Is Not Boring"), in a high-class neighbourhood. The office resides behind a locked iron gate, a well-manicured courtyard hijacked from the set of a soap opera, and another locked door, all surveilled by security cameras and remotely openable .

The wood-paneled elevator stinks, but opens onto a small lobby and reception area featuring the standard faux-antique furniture and copies of the day's fascist newspapers. The blond-wood floor is erupting in places. The executroids' offices feature sliding French doors inlaid with milky-blue glass, showing unexpected Japanese overtones.

The executroids are, of course, guys in their 50s. Everyone else in the office is a girl, generally obsequious. ("Is downstairs open?" "Take your key. Do you need a key?" [quickly rustles keys].) They work at tiny cubiclettes. In the back, beautiful filing cabinets on power-assisted runners, and a kitchen exceeding Martha Stewart's. Literally.

Two words: Golden handcuffs.


Fucking September already.

Dial M for Mahurin

Picture my surprise, after a dour, parched, interminable, hopeless week, to hear the phone ring. Luckily, I was off the modem. Who should be calling but Matt Mahurin, famed photographer and source of three separate gushing mash notes on these pages (alpha, beta, gamma).

I had to sit down and everything just to remain coherent, which I rather was, actually. Some kind of work together is not out of the question.

It made my day.

Another layer of varnish

Seemingly a lifetime ago, I varnished Ron Loranger at an art opening. Two Fridays ago, Ron opened again, at the Robert Birch Gallery. (He's still gorgeous, that Rob. I used to live over his store.)

Words can barely describe how hot the gallery was. I gave up completely within a minute and reverted to Cat People mode: I sat down on the dirty white leather-strap chair and dehydrated quietly by myself. A couple of kids ran amok and annoyed me with triggered memories. The lovely and talented Mr. Jeff Moore sashayed in, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and sandals, ignoring me altogether while kibbitzing with his astonishingly fabulous friends.

I looked at the art. I chatted with Ron for 30 seconds. I left.

Things could only go uphill from there, right? Wrong. What do you do when the fellow to whom you're giving the absolute best sex of his life prefers to head out to the Black Eagle than to have you over for a... visit? Just how miserable does your personality have to be, at least in his mind, to overcome top-of-the-line sexual activity?

Ron was favourably reviewed in Œil hebdomadaire and the Globe.

I'm not all that free to say more, since Ron is still coming down from his big kick of moral umbrage at being written about here. How tiresome. I shut down Tales of the Toolbox in part to spare his feelings; what more does he want? I bumped into him at the Litterbox last night and offered congratulations on the excellent reviews. Right up close, with his new clean-shaven look, the feelings were back. Until I walked away.


Bad Religion haikux

  1. Complexity through
    drum–axe–bass repetition,
    thought-provoking words
  2. Will Greg never earn
    his much-delayed Ph.D.,
    in whatever field?
  3. Graffin's Ph.D.:
    A credible alibi
    could be useful here
  4. Greg grandly asserts
    "secure egomaniac" role
    in Rolling Stone piece
  5. Every good band
    deserves (a) burning out, or
    (b) fading away
  6. Not enough money:
    BR Karaoke may
    never come to pass
  7. What's the real reason
    Manis pulled the plug on the
  8. Graffin well-dressed in
    a custom-tailored suit: Could
    improve his image
  9. Is a punk-rock band
    a viable legacy
    for Graffin's two kids?
  10. Alienated
    from once-sacred BR discs:
    Unhappy memories
  11. Greg is anti-drug
    (or at least was), but partner
    B‌r‌e‌t‌t answered to Jones
  12. If Greg were homely,
    would I like the band as much?
    Do looks trump talent?
  13. A female band
    ought to cover BR songs,
    put 'em to the test
  14. Your song doesn't work
    if the other sex cannot
    sing it credibly
  15. Drop an atom bomb
    on Greg... the kids... Ithaca
    The result is "Cease"
  16. Atlantic Records,
    like all majors, shafts artists:
    Epitaph's contract?
  17. Jump from Epitaph
    prompted howls of "Sellout!" – but
    Sony deal predates
  18. Could "Ray of Light" be
    Madonna's only song Greg
    could adapt to punk?
  19. A foreseeable
    future: BR Smithereens
    to self-parody
  20. (Writing these haikux
    in local Suction Cup: What
    reason to go home?)
  21. The signal lyric
    in the Bad Religion œuvre:
    "I am incomplete"
Everybody else's

From Donald Tetto:

  1. They're on a major
    and, despite bad company,
    punk as anyone.
  2. Greg Graffin: vocals,
    Baker, Bentley: oozin' aahs...
    melodic voices.
  3. They're almost perfect,
    but they made one big mistake
    and toured with Blink.
  4. Words too big for me,
    yet better understood by
    friends across the pond.
  5. Powerful wording,
    Thought-provoking ideas:

From Christian Reynolds:

  1. When will Mr. B‌r‌e‌t‌t
    give it up and re-release
    Into the Unknown?
  2. It would be cool if
    Graffin ran for president.
    I would vote for him.
  3. It might be nice if
    B‌r‌e‌t‌t Gurewitz produced the
    next BR album.

From Thomas Anonymous:

  1. Finestone walked away
    And Bobby took control. Their
    styles weren't quite the same.
  2. It's Baker's hometown,
    Yet the boys won't tour DC.
    Jesus fuckin' Christ!
  3. 1984
    Greg Hetson revived BR
    By talking to Greg
  4. On Against the Grain
    Jay authored some nifty songs.
    Will he write again?
  5. "Watch-o" is primal
    Or so said Mr. Graffin
    On Headbanger's Ball
  6. Mister Jay Bentley,
    Now that things have been patched up,
    Does B‌r‌e‌t‌t still Hate You?
  7. Um, these kinda suck
    So I'm gonna shut up now
    I need to go eat.

From Huggle Owns:

  1. no man can resist
    my subtle flirting techniques
    not even graffin
  2. li'l monkey hetson
    always full of energy
    never stops jumping
  3. bad religion clones
    can't compete with the real thing
    invent your own sound
  4. "10 in 2010"
    overpopulation in
    this world, we should meet.


Haiku the blog

  1. Pending effacement,
    acutely dissatisfied,
  2. Clone skinhead lads
    (manqués, really), but in love,
    lightened the Eagle
  3. Moral, ethical,
    legal mayhem: To cause harm
    to former faux amis
  4. I now miss Micheal –
    charismatic postie, and
    apt not to say no
  5. Giant squid, mad-cow
    disease, lampreys (but not bugs,
    even spiders) haunt
  6. Cruised walking down Church,
    which rather rarely happens,
    piqued a good chuckle
  7. I'd best not further
    induce moral lapses in
    giant Seattlers
  8. Up people persons
    find me witty and charming.
    But I fear the sting
  9. I miss designer
    James Welsh, an unhappy man
    but Avenir fan
  10. Imagine leather
    bars, still dark, but as tidy
    as the pods on Oz
  11. Asked to name fav'rite
    bands, I, former rock critic,
    promptly drew a blank
  12. Who's the six-foot-three,
    lissome, muscular, strong-nosed
    buddy of failed friend?
  13. Sex and the City
    formulaic, oversold –
    flagrantly hates men
  14. Échantillonage
    dot org
    would be auspicious
    as personal site
  15. Manly Kevin Kline:
    Far less impassive than Hurt,
    if Big Chill mattered
  16. I quite understand
    Last Year at Marienbad
    (Cf. Lost Highway)