Friday, July 29, 2005

It’s time we start thinking about the environment as something more than a sex object. (Cute little dirty little hotcake environment, traipsing through the copse in saddle shoes and pleated skirt and sheer blouse, lollypop in the left, sideways glances — those ones that exert G-forces on your insides — pig tails and additional elements of shebang.) The environment, for those of you who don’t know, is the glue that stirs the drink. It’s not some drunken coed with clit rings and a tickle fetish.

According to leading scientists, the environment is in peril. Serious peril. As we all know, scientists may or may not be trusted, depending on whether or not their findings conflict with our preconceived notions. In this case, however, the overwhelming consensus within the scientific community coupled with rigorous fact checking and cross dressing should convince even the most skeptical laymen that Shit’s course will most certainly be interrupted — at some point soon — by Fan, and that the ensuing splatter will be pretty messy, even by Third World standards. It is at that point of contact — what researchers call the Shit-Fan Convergence — that the environment will have reached a point of irrevocable disassemblage.

Some people say “I will take measures to help the environment if and when the Shit actually hits the Fan,” not understanding that by then it will be too late to do much aside from sit in your living room and watch your skin boil off the bone. Others will say “I have spoken with our Creator, and, at His behest, I have filled a three-story punch bowl with His cocktail of holy salvation. It tastes like strawberry-banana. I have a cheese plate, too, with crackers and deli meats, if anyone’s interested. Bring pajamas.” These people may be on to something.

The point being that we should be planning ahead. Because some day we’ll all be pregnant and it will be time to think about our children. What kind of world do we want them to live in? Do we want them to have to breathe air with a Shit concentration of 5,000 PPM? And what of that neighborhood kid who comes over and never flushes the toilet? What’s his deal?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

More language manipulation from the White House. What for the past few years has been called the “War on Terror” shall heretofore be referred to as “the global battle against violent extremism” (seems we lost our war and our caps). You might read this and think that I’m kidding. I’m not.

It’s all right to cry. Crying gets the sad out of you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The weather is cooling off. I’m getting my brain back. It’s one of those tiny dinosaur sponges that you add water and there it goes — all the sudden you’ve got a fucking dinosaur on your hands, buddy.

A Conversation Between Two Rock Stars (Let’s call them Buzzer and Chaff) During Which They Speak, for the Most Part, in Their Own Vacuous Song Lyrics:

BUZZER: I’ll miss her forever in the depths of my soul.
CHAFF: Ouch! [Sipping fountain beverage, tilting his cup to get that last little bit]
B: How’re things with Rhonda?
C: She’ll never care about the tears I shed.
B: Filthy whore.
C: I remember when things were so much easier. Remember those times?
B: I was young and broken now I’m going blind.
C: What’s that? [Shaking cup, ice rattles hollow]
B: Eh. Nothing.
C: My passion rises when the sun goes down.
B: Why’s that?
C: Baywatch reruns. And Felicity. I switch back and forth.
B: No one understands me; I’m all alone.
C: Tell me about it. I’m gonna’ get a refill. [Sliding out of booth, going to counter, getting a refill, sliding back in]
B: Sarah bought this new spice rack yesterday at the Pottery Barn. It’s pretty sweet.
C: Break these chains of love and let me go.
B: It’s got this thing where you hit this button and it rotates, so you can find whatever spice you need, whenever you need it.
C: [Looking toward the back of the diner, gesturing with a head nod.] What’s up with that guy?
B: [Looking back over his shoulder.] He’s a pinball wizard.
C: [Pausing, looking again, furrowing brow.] There has to be a twist.
B: A pinball wizard.
C: He’s got such a supple wrist!
[Buzzer lights a cigarette.]

Let's pretend this post never happened. (My left big toe is burning hot. What in the fuck?)

Monday, July 25, 2005

After some bad blood and confusion early on, I’m getting used to cinnamon toothpaste. In fact, I quite enjoy brushing with it and have decided that, until a better flavor comes along, I will stick with it. Cinnamon toothpaste has really changed the way I look at things. Up is down. Black is white. Jesus is Lord.

I walked out of my apartment Saturday morning and my testicles burst into flames. Temperatures here in Dallas have soared into the mid-500s. Everywhere I go, people are telling me how much like a sauna it is. “It’s like a sauna,” they say. I nod my head.

It really is like a sauna. These people are correct.

Drinking is for winners. Friday night we drank at [I can’t believe I can’t remember the name]. The inside was dark, loud, warm, wooden. I officially hate that place. I hate the way it makes me feel inside. I shan’t return.

The waitress of record was record height. The kind of covert operative who straps daggers to her ankles: does backflips, reaches down and in one fluid motion throws daggers that land — thup! — in the hearts of villians, killing them instantly. (Thin blood trickle from villian's lip corner.) “Let’s get out of here,” I say. We get out of there. We are afraid we will be mistaken for villians. On cue, my testicles burst into flames. We all share a laugh and hit the road. The drinking’s just begun.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Kittens make us happy.

CJR’s Liz Cox Barrett and Samantha Henig track this week’s Supreme Court nomination coverage. A worthy read.

News outlets don’t do much for their reputations when all they can do is ape the speculation of other news outlets. But then they go ahead an do it anyway — and the result is the same every time. Once they zero in, they’re the zombies in the zombie movies: staggering forward with little purpose, even less motivation, and a seeming inability to change direction.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Rupert Murdoch and News Corp., owners of Fox News, have purchased Intermix Media, owners of MySpace. This will not end well.

I invite any member of the White House press corps to use this question:

Q: Mr. President, you’ve recently gone on the record saying that you will fire anyone in your administration who has committed a crime. Does it concern you that in the meantime you might have a criminal working in the White House right now, and that you’ve already been specifically warned his conduct might be criminal?

Monday, July 18, 2005

[Following is the complete text of e-mail sent to from and intercepted by a source who prefers to be called The Unicorn.]


Just got off the phone with Scooter. He left his debit card at Kinkead’s. Said he’ll come by your office later this afternoon to discuss your physical. [btw, NYT got wind that your cholesterol numbers were manipulated. I’ll send the hounds after Dr. Reiner and his men. They’ve got a leaker at GW. We’ll do a workup and teach those fucks to keep their mouths shut.]

I’ve got a haircut appointment at 1. I really don’t know what to do with it. Condi told me I need blonde highlights, so I poured rat poison in that bitch’s latte. Just enough to keep her a little off balance.

Dinner? My treat.


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Hey. I tried.

Ten years ago: I was twenty. My second summer break from college. The summer of the great Chicago heat wave that killed at least 500 people. Ben and I were helping rehab abandoned crack houses on the West Side that had been purchased by the city. We were working in alleys, painting apartment staircases, filling bullet holes with caulk, watching people stumble in and out of the new neighborhood crack house across the way. We were burning alive. One day it hit 108 degrees and the heat index turned our bodies inside out. At the end of the day, we got on our bikes, rode down the alley toward the street, where we would turn right and head west to Oak Park. We emerged from the alley, took that right and hit our brakes. Every fire hydrant for five, six blocks was popped and children, families, grown men, the elderly, they were all running through the spray, sitting on lawn chairs, drinking lemonade, laughing and playing, soaking wet. To this day, it is still one of the most beautiful pictures I’ve ever seen. Ben and I got off of our bikes and ran into the water. We were the only white people on the planet and no one seemed to care. We were laughing, splashing, high-fiving and smiling and soaking. That hot half hour ten years ago — I’ll never forget every last curve of it.

Five years ago: My first summer in Dallas. I felt lonely and isolated.

One year ago: I was in the same exact place I am today. This fact has been the source of much consternation.

Yesterday: Wake up commute type click type return lunch click type return commute nap eat drive softball game swing single swing homerun grounder through my legs game over drive couch television bed sheets covers good night.

Today: I’m waiting for run sheets so I can build pages. I read Dave G’s latest post. I felt compelled to fill this out, despite not feeling inspired to do so. I begin to fill it out. I reach today. You are up to speed.

Tomorrow: I get a phone call from a publishing company. “We’ve been reading your blog. Yadda yadda yadda. $100,000 advance.”

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The key word Rove's defenders have been throwing around the last two days is "prejudge." They do not want to "prejudge" Rove. They do not want to "prejudge" the investigation. Republican Ken Mehlman just used that single word at least ten times during his last segment on Hardball with Chris Matthews.

Clearly, he and others have been instructed to use the word "prejudge" as much as possible.

This is how it works: Find out which words test well in front of a sample audience, then instruct your people to pound that word home until it changes the frame of the debate. It has nothing to do with being consistent or avoiding hypocracy. It has nothing to do with actually believing that to prejudge is wrong. (Keep in mind, these are the same people who were all too eager to prejudge the Iraq WMD threat and send troops to war.) It's just a word to them. It can be a tool or a weapon. And it can mean whatever they want it to mean whenever it suits their purposes.

Remember that.

"Prejudge" has Luntz written all over it.

“The President believes that using our resources to defeat terrorism and spread freedom throughout the world will ensure the safety of America and encourage others to discourage the forces of evil that threaten us and threaten the shining beacon of freedom that, again, we are trying to spread to those who are, for the time being, blinded by their hatred of our freedom and who want to threaten our way of life but who, the President is confident, will totally love us if they just get to know us better. That is his first priority. Terrorism is the opposite of what this administration wants. This administration wants peace, but is not unwilling to fight for the freedom and democracy and greatness that makes this country free and great and democratic. The President is committed to, if necessary, slathering baby oil over the entirety of his chest and flexing his crisply sculpted pectorals just to show these terrorists (who would have us live in fear, who would have us live our lives under the red cloud of a red terror alert, who would disembowel us as we ride the executive elevator to the atrium for that urgent board meeting), just to show these bearded men that gosh darnit he means it this time. The President will not accept any more of this shit from freedom-hating foreigners and their silly roadside devices. That is, as I’ve said before, the President’s position on this issue. There are those who want to criticize the President’s stand against terrorism and terror and evil and those short threads of sinew that get stuck in your teeth when you eat hard deli meats, like salami, for example. The administration has addressed those concerns. The President cares about you. He loves you ... in the most heterosexual way possible. But he will not answer questions in the context of an ongoing investigation.”

Scott McClellan
White House Press Secretary
12 July 2005

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I hereby waive all confidentiality agreements I have entered into with the media.

[The following is an excerpt from the Washington Post editorial page, 12 July 2005.]

... Karl Rove’s disclosure of the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame, the White House has neglected to comment on Michael Innocenzi’s role in what some administration critics are calling a gross abortion of political fetuses. As press secretary Scott McClellan dodged tough questions about the obvious controversy during yesterday’s question-and-answer session, reporters failed to broach the subject of Innocenzi’s involvement, despite the story’s growing momentum on internet websites.

Although some expect Innocenzi to officially release reporters from confidentiality agreements later this week, the action would come more than two years after the controversy began — too little, too late by any standard. President Bush — not McClellan, and not Vice President Dick Cheney — must publicly assure the American people that a complete and accurate account of Innocenzi’s role in this scandal is forthcoming. Short of that, the administration’s legal tap dance ...

Friday, July 08, 2005

(Sometimes I have trouble figuring out whether people are saying “entrance” or “insurance.” So I spent 45 minutes this morning looking for an insurance ramp on Central Expressway. There isn’t one.)

Here at Vitriolic Spree, we like to answer reader mail every once in a while. No we don’t. Or do we? Researchers still disagree on the answer to this important question. And by “disagree” I mean “refuse to return phone calls.” Researchers tend to be aloof. Perhaps this is because they are better than normal people. No matter, this morning I received this poignant missive from a nameless fan named Tris:

Your last name sounds like one of those zippy crotch-rockets that some gnat-like asshole uses to cut me off in early morning, very early morning, traffic. If it translates into something pious in Italian, “Peaceful Son” or “Soft Moonbeams” or something, I apologize. What the hell — I apologize in any case. How rude I am. How very, very rude.

Greetings from Minneapolis and the desk of a 41 year old lesbian malcontent. A desk, I might add, with leg shackles.

Thanks for writing your blog. It sometimes keeps me from wanting to hurt my boss.

Vitriolic Spree responds:
Thanks for writing, Tris. While many people fail to recognize my genius (indeed, they often wrongfully accuse me of being “full of shit” or “under arrest for indecent exposure”), others — I’m looking in your direction, Tris — appreciate the subtle mélange of utter brilliance and choice hops swimming just beneath the surface of my ostensibly base prose. I am both humble and, like a researcher, better than normal people — and it is this rare dichotomy that makes me capable of both amazing feats of physical strength and a kind of crafty slight of hand that will astonish children and family pets.

I once had the unique pleasure of driving through Minneapolis on my way to visit Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. (Once there, I would take a short bus trip to St. Olaf’s and crowd surf at a Mighty Mighty Bosstones concert, but that is neither here nor there.) I am very fond of your great state. And despite the fact that I have not returned (nor do I plan to for the rest of my life), I consider myself a loyal Minnesotan at heart.

Turning forty can be difficult for some people. I know this because I’ve seen the way forty-year-olds wander aimlessly through grocery stores looking for the organic food aisle. It always seems really depressing. I mean, why not just go to Whole Foods? That entire place is an organic foods aisle. You should check it out. Their Granny Smith apples are to die for.

I am happy to hear that you and your boss have found a way to coexist peacefully. Should you ever find yourself gripped by a desire to act out violently (say, the next time he asks you to collate a church newsletter), visit my website and I will post a series of soothing haikus about some of John Barth’s lesser works.


Thursday, July 07, 2005

I’m on no sleep. Last night, our softball team vanquished another unworthy rival, thanks in part to that one play where I caught a sizzling line drive in my hat while typing some important memos and resolving the nature of quantum mechanics and relativity with a series of elegant pie charts. We won, 16-4.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

ONE: I’m getting soft. The worst crisis I faced the entire weekend occurred when I went to Tom Thumb and found out that, for the second week in a row, they were out of my favorite hair-sculpting gunk. This morning I used the last lonely dollops from my last lonely canister. Tomorrow I will be in hair-styling hell unless I can find some of that sweet sweet stuff pronto. You gotta help me, man. Just a taste, man. I'll [blank] your [blank]. Can’t you get me a taste?

TWO: In case you haven’t been watching this one, here is a great summary of the Valerie Plame affair. Anyone seen Karl Rove since Friday? What a coward.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Closing in on 40,000 hits. Who will be the lucky visitor?