Memorial Day has always held a special place in my heart for one simple reason. Not because I’m necessarily patriotic, but because I’m a blood thirsty bastard of an American and I love war movies. I’m a war movie junky, a war monger if you will. I live and breathe for stuff like When Trumpets Fade, Das Boot, Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Hell Is For Heroes… I could easily go on and on.

The reason I love these movies is because any “realistic” portrayal of war will run the complete spectrum of feeling. They show humans at a basic level just trying to survive and satisfy their needs. Happiness for having lived through the battle, guilt for not having died with their comrades, absolute despair for losing their only friends, absolute terror, elation, depression, insanity, rage, lust, love…they’re all present and they are raw and in their basic forms. When humans are desperate you get a good look at what composes them.

Of course, not all movies aired on Memorial Day are classics, at least not because of their realism. You have the action-war flicks which are, if anything, a mockery of human emotion and feeling, but are still incredibly entertaining and satisfying in some guilty-pleasure sort of way. These are movies like the The Green Berets, Rambo II, The Patriot, Uncommon Valor, the MIA series. Memorial Day wouldn’t be Memorial Day without these campy movies, what seem to be a uniquely American invention — completely unbelievable events and story lines pawned off to the public as the real deal.

Somewhere out there I must have kindred spirits, because people like those at AMC and TCM grace us with 24 hours of war movies every Memorial Day, airing everything from Missing In Action 2: The Beginning, a lame Vietnam flick — to Where Eagles Dare, a semi-cheesy special ops movie featuring Clint Eastwood killing Nazis in the alps — to Bridge On the River Kwai, one of the best WWII prisoner movies out there. Where else would you get to see Chuck Norris clad in communist regalia torching NVA soldiers alive? Where else would you get to see Alec Guinness in one of the best performances of his career? Memorial Day TV, that’s where!

So, as a tribute to Memorial Day and to all of the channels which air the war movies from cheesy to outstanding, I’ve created the following animated gif:

memorialday.gif

 

Thank you

Advertisements

Quick update

May 27, 2005

I just realized while drunkenly messing around with my settings that there have been comments to a few of my articles, but they weren’t posted. I turned on “let unregistered visitors comment” but some how it didn’t display any of the comments, it just kept them for me to approve at a later date. So after deleting hundreds of spam comments I approved the comments left by the few visitors I DO have.

So, keep commenting, I guess. Sorry. I’ll try and figure out a way to get around the spam, if possible.

guinness_dublin.jpg

Now to branch off of the internet tech-geekery stuff and onto the alcoholic-bummery stuff: today I bought 4 cans of Guinness and a 12 pack of JW Dundee’s Honey Brown Lager. The Guinness tastes nothing like it did in Ireland, let alone Dublin…which is probably a given. But I had to see for myself just how bad our imports were in comparison, as I haven’t had an “american guinness” in a long time.

My conclusion is that the stuff over here has a “burnt-ass” taste which isn’t necessarily appealing, but it does have a whiff of that Guinness goodness, so I keep drinking it regardless. The Honey Brown lager, on the other hand, just tastes like sour ass. It isn’t bad, in fact I could have one or two, but drinking it to get drunk makes me want to vomit. It’s like I’m drinking sour milk out of someone’s butthole. Ok, so it’s not that bad. At all. I don’t know why I said that. That’s really gross. But it is sour-y. And not that great.

That is all.

As I have probably mentioned before, I love Google. Google’s more or less the library of the internet, but it also manages to serve as the whacky librarian, throwing pornographic books and strange articles at you from across the room. Today, it threw THE MASTURBATOR at me. And what a gift that has turned out to be.

To explain myself: I went to Google, my start page, to search for “masturbator.” The reason being that I was going to use the word in an IM conversation but forgot how to spell it. The brain cells containing that information were apparently banned from my cerebral kingdom long ago by the alcohol which is continually invading and attacking my system. So, as usual, when I couldn’t remember how to spell a simple word I just opened up my browser and pasted the word into the search box, because it’s fast and will often tell you if the word is fucked up. I did this and my spelling was correct. Then I scrolled down, out of curiosity, to see if all it had returned were smut websites. Several rows down I found the following link [THE MASTURBATOR].

If you bother to skim the article, it is basically a training manual for phone counselors. The doctor writing the article has apparently had plenty of experience talking to people and trying to help them with their problems, but has also encountered the dark side of phone counselling. He goes on to explain that he often receives phone calls from “the masturbators,” people who get off while listening to a stranger’s voice. The average scenario is an apparently caring person answering the phone, hoping to help some lost soul with a drug or pregnancy problem, only to be forced to listen to some man breathlessly pull at his dong for a good fifteen minutes. What I really like is the description of a masturbatory caller.

Characteristics of masturbatory phone callers often include:

1. Voice seems devoid of feelings
2. Hesitation in speaking
3. Unusual phrasing of sentences or “catches” in the caller’s breathing
4. Presents self with boyish innocence about sexual matters
5. Gives a first name immediately and requests name of the liner (the usual non-sex caller is so anxious and/or depressed that, if there is an exchange of names, it comes later in the call
6. Will not speak with a man, although may express difficulty in talking with a woman
7. Briefly states his “problem” and waits for counselor to respond (generally there is very little to respond to)
8. Asks personal questions about the liner such as age, marital status, color of hair/eyes, d. what is the liner wearing
9. Asks the liner’s opinion about his “sexual problem” with insistence
10. Resistance toward any resolution of the “problem” — s/he just wants to keep on repeating it
11. A great deal of silence by the caller
12. Common story themes in presenting problem such as: sex with female members of the family, sometimes siblings, most often with adult members of immediate or extended family, lending his wife/girlfriend to another man, enjoying sex with young boys/young girls, insistently asking for sex information (often graphic) but refuses referral to organizations established for those purposes
13. Some common opening lines: “I want to talk”, “Can I talk about anything here?”, “I have an embarrassing problem…”, “Are you understanding?”

Please disregard all of the above the next time I call you. While my voice may be devoid of all feeling and I am often breathless…, ok, ok, so I’m a masturbator. But I’m a human too!

In summary: thank you Google and thank you Doctor Barry Greenwald for some insight into the daily struggles of the common phone counselor. You’d better look out masturbators — we’re hot on your trail of semen and we will not rest until we rid every last one of you from our phone lines. Stop harrassing our innocent phone counselors!

A Russian village was left baffled on Thursday after its lake disappeared overnight.

NTV television showed pictures of a giant muddy hole bathed in summer sun, while fishermen from the village of Bolotnikovo looked on disconsolately.

Officials in Nizhegorodskaya region, on the Volga river east of Moscow, said water in the lake might have been sucked down into an underground water-course or cave system, but some villagers had more sinister explanations.

“I am thinking, well, America has finally got to us,” said one old woman, as she sat on the ground outside her house.

I like this story. Their lives were probably miserable in the first place…living in some anonymous, boring Russian town that absolutely nobody cared about, not even the inhabitants. And then the earth swallowed their lake. Their last redoubt of happiness, or at least, melancholia, before the onset of complete, full blown depression. I imagine their faces went from one of sadness to one of exaggerated sadness. Such a cruel and entertaining world we live in…

I am alive

May 19, 2005

My backpack lies on my floor, everything still entact. All of the shirts reaking of sweat and Guinness and the grease of Irish breakfasts still rolled and tucked away. My room is a disaster, I can’t be bothered to do something as simple as clean up my beer cans, my rain coat or miscellaneous papers after something as big as the trip I just experienced. I wish I could preserve the high I got off of it, live that way every day of my life – with the confidence and the want to explore the world more, but I know with time, if I don’t act, it will fade. I suppose I’ll just have to save up some more money.

This is just an update to say that I will be updating later with stories from the trip, if I can get myself to actually complete them..it might be a wee bit difficult trying to relay everything that happened. You’d just have to be there. That’s what traveling is about. Maybe that’s a cop out and the sign of a bad writer. I don’t know. I’ll try.

19029265_6629a11c38.jpg

I have updated my gallery with 300+ pictures from the trip, which you can check out if you like. I upgraded to a new version of the image gallery so things don’t look great and it seems to be slow, but the pictures are there. Enjoy…I sure as hell did.

For now, here’s a crappy entry I scribbled into my book while sitting in a smoke stained, delapidated room, across the train station in a city I didn’t particularly like

home sick in cork

4 stories up

in a suicide room

somebody’s last resort

ceiling cracked
wallpaper torn…
somebody’s smokey dream
falling apart at the seam
faulty wires makin a dark day darker

dirty sheets and dirty smiles

you won’t meet a soul but you can walk for miles
in a city with no heart