dimanche, février 15, 2009


In 1521, Emperor Charles V issued the Edict of Worms [pronounced "verms"], essentially a papal hit on Martin Luther, eliminating the annoying legal, social, and eternal consequences normally attached to taking a human life.
Now, in 2009, and here, in a country where each of us is, or should be, the Emperor and Pope of his own destiny, I hereby issue my own personal Edict of Worms.

Which is to say . . .
Under the following conditions, I will not consider it murder to kill me:

1) If I am in a persistent vegetative state.

2) If I am incontinent of bowel for a prolonged period of time, and there is no surgical option.

3) If I lose my mind to the extent that I am reliving any experience from any year between 1986 and 1993.

4) If I ever seriously consider running for public office.

5) If I start my own church. [ed. note: this is NOT in ANY WAY a knock on Keith Lowell Jensen]

6) If I join the democrat party.

7) If I join the republican party.

8) If I ever get so fat that the paramedics have to cut a new door to remove me from the house.

9) If I kill another person in cold blood.

10) If I get definitive proof that Emily Dickinson is waiting for me on the other side.

11) If I ever audition for American Idol.

12) If the world stops making sushi.

This edict I issue, being of sound mind and body, on this, the 16th of February, 2009.

jeudi, février 12, 2009


I AM FOR the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" as long as it applies to all media--television included. If, on the other hand, it is simply about leveling the right wing monopoly on AM talk radio--a medium where, one must assume, anyone is free to have a show, unless it fails miserably like Al Franken and everybody else on that side has. (Except the strident and fairly talented Ed Schultz, who happened to have had a front row seat at the recent press conference. Can you imagine the media shit storm if Rush Limbaugh had sat in ANY row of a Bush presser? Hey stupid, there is bias in the media.) I think the FCC should mandate that Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olberman have to share air time, and a desk, and an office, and an office cubby. I want Sean Hannity and Bill Maher to have to urinate in the same urinal at the same time. If that is what the Fairness Doctrine accomplishes, then Mr. President, have at it. Try to remember, however, that the doctrine in question was instituted at a time when AM radio was part of a very small media presence. There was, at the time, an extreme paucity of information. You cannot say that about the current landscape. Instituting it now as it was before makes you, at best, appear afraid of the ideas of your loyal opposition. At worst, it makes you a dictatorial fascist, about whom the term "Hitleresque" will not be an overstatement.

I AM AGAINST red delicious apples. They are mushy and flavorless compared to countless other varieties. On the other hand, the skin is thick and bitter, so they have that going for them. If we boycott the misnamed red delicious apple, perhaps they will stop wasting precious resources stocking them in our grocery stores and restrict their use to juice and applesauce. Let this be our motto: FOCUS ON THE FUJI.

I AM FOR the passage of the stimulus package. Don't get me wrong, I hate socialism with a virulent hatred and am totally convinced that its proponents are either stupid or evil. And the stimulus package is pure socialism, make no mistake. Neither am I foolish enough to think that spending 60 million on golf cart upgrades (or any other of the pork flavored ear marks in this legislation) will have an immediate or lasting effect on the economy. I just want to see what happens when a smart, good looking president with good numbers passes a bill with an approval rating comparable to the last disastrous president. Shows you how principled I really am. I stand by my philosophy until it looks like something interesting might happen by abandoning it.

I AM AGAINST awards shows. (Unless Radiohead is playing. In which case I'll just skip the telecast and catch their masterful performance on Youtube. I love the way Radiohead just makes every other act look bad. Except for Justin Timberlake, who, unless the Youtube clip is doctored, brought the house down.) How do people sit through these shows? I'm the world's biggest snob, but I'm really not trying to be too cool for school here. I simply don't understand the allure of any of it. From Oscar to SAG, it bewilders me. As for the Grammies specifically, don't they have a "painfully out-of-date" feeling? Why don't they just reduce certain categories to lifetime achievement awards and have done with it? We know that Metallica is going to win the heavy metal category. We know that Radiohead is the last of the marketable "alternative" bands and will win in any year they have released a record. We know that whoever releases a polka album will win in that category, despite the fact that nanotechnology is still trying to measure how little the people care. But honestly, the real reason I am officially AGAINST them is that they snubbed David Sedaris, who actually gives an excellent reading of all his masterful books, incorporating character voices and lending a tone to the reading that enhances one's enjoyment, in favor of Al Gore's wooden reading of his propaganda. They really need to rename the "spoken word" category. Just call it "Our Favorite Politically Correct hack job." Look at the winners in the last five or ten years and you'll know I'm right.

I AM FOR SLEEP. Because I am tired. All this taking of firm positions is tuckering me out.

I AM AGAINST SLEEP. Because it is monumental waste of time. All this wavering back and forth makes me want to get down to brass tacks and concoct some real opinions. I guess working all night has screwed up more than just my biological clock.

Either way, it is, as you can tell, catching up to me. Goodnight (which is to say, Good Day), sweet America.

mardi, février 03, 2009

Am I a PETAphile?

For the record, I don't eat meat. Not that I mind being top of the food chain--a lion doesn't and shouldn't feel guilty when it brutally slaughters the antelope. It's the meat industry that is demonstrably evil and undeniably disgusting.

But I never wanted to be a PETA person. They were abrasive, holier-than-thou, nose in the air, shriek voiced, neck bearded socialists. They had soft cotton hearts and brains to match. They made me want to eat meat so as to disassociate myself from them. Whenever I was forced into telling people I didn't eat meat, I would follow up with "But I'm not one of those PETA vegetarians."
As a matter of fact, when Marilyn Manson dealt with their protests about his use of animals in his circus clown act by saying: "Listen each time I see your name in print with mine, I'll actually hurt one of these animals," I actually felt what might have been something other than disdain for the man who would soon become a laughable historical footnote. "You go, girl!" I said.

Even though it was PETA's "Meet Your Meat" video that cemented my antipathy to the mass production of edible flesh, any association with them remained distasteful--and not just because activists and ideologues are on my short list of people for whom I'd cross to the other side of the street.

But then something changed. First they came up with the brilliant "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" protest/campaign. Then they made headlines (and put an ingenious twist, so speak, on the milk argument) when they coyly suggested that Ben and Jerry's make their ice cream from human breast milk. When they were able to pull the old double switcheroo by making a Superbowl advertisement, which they probably couldn't afford, but which was sure to be rejected because it posited that vegetarians have better sex and featured hot women licking fruit, thereby getting into the issue (and the commercial) into the national consciousness for free, the 180 was complete. Somebody savvy is running that organization, and I am on their side.

My official word to PETA: I can't go as far as giving you money, or attending some horrible protest. And I certainly can't endorse a lot of the science or philosophy behind some of your arguments (for instance, my own research in the field study of my marriage proves conclusively that vegetarians to NOT have better sex). But I will no longer speak ill of you. And I will certainly not go out of my way to distance myself from you.