“I couldn't live a week without a private library
- indeed, I'd part with all my furniture and squat and sleep on the floor
before I'd let go of the 1500 or so books I possess.” ― H.P. Lovecraft

Whistling In The Graveyard: August 17, 2003

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Awwright, I’m officially sick of this now.

Some of you may have noticed the little temporary suspension of power that affected damn near a quarter of the country, and incidentally New York, a few days ago. Yes, the power went out. Yes I know that’s an inconvenience, but GET FUCKING OVER IT. And no, for your information, I didn’t lose my power.

Here in West-by-god-Virginia we lose our power all the time. Quite often we lose it in the winter. You know what? We fucking deal with it.

I’m sick of the media referring to the “New York Blackout”. If it was just a New York thing then I would laugh about it and go along my merry way, but no, this affected millions of people. Most of them outside the New York area. This proves perfectly the point that I’m well known for mentioning: People in the entertainment industry care about California and New York. If you don’t live in one of those two places, you don’t exist. The people putting together the news coverage live in New York. So they report about how terrible it was in New York. This thing actually affected THEM. This wasn’t some isolated incident out in the ‘fly-over’ states (That’s how they refer to anything between California and New York, by the way), no this happened in what they keep insisting is the greatest city in the world.

And now that I’ve hit on that notion of New York’s self-importance, I’d like to point out that in 1993 we here in WV lost our power for a whole week with three feet of snow outside. It barely made the news. You know why? Because Jessica Lynch was years away from being the only noteworthy thing to come out of the state since Bob Denver, Charles Manson, Don Knotts, and Jennifer Garner (Not necessarily in that order). It was quite a stretch between Manson and Garner indeed. A stretch in which to the entertainment industry WV was above only Alabama, albeit barely, as a place to aim uneducated redneck jokes.

And I know many whiners out there are complaining “But YOU make redneck jokes and make fun of West Virginia’s poor education system!” To those people I would like to take this opportunity to say: FUCK YOU. I have to live here. I’ve earned the right to say whatever the fuck I want about West Virginia. If you disagree you can kiss my white, honky ass.

Where was I going? Oh yeah, fuck New York!. I’ve been there. It smells like a used urinal cake, the people are rude, and nobody gives a fuck about anyone. And the people that live there think they rule the world, and that anyone that doesn’t choose to live in that festering slum is stupid because they don’t live there too. People keep promising that one day California is going to fall into the ocean, and that will be a glorious day indeed, but let’s see if maybe we can get it to take down New York as well. Both places are in serious need of flushing. Fuck them both, we don’t need them. They’re full of people like fucking Jennifer Lopez. She’s high on my list of people I’d like to hit in the face with a brick.

OK, she’s somewhat attractive and she has a big ass. That’s nothing to be famous for. Hell, I have a big ass; can I get a record contract? I can’t sing, but then again Lopez can’t either. And she couldn’t act her way out of a goddamn, wet, paper sack. Apart from that she seems to be a thoroughly loathsome human being whom we’d all be better off without. And I don’t even need to point out the train wreck that is her latest offal-coated outing Gigli and the irreparable damage she’s doing to the piece of Kevin Smith’s furniture that is Ben Affleck. OK, Afleck is good in Kevin Smith movies. That’s pretty much it. I’m willing to admit that Good Will Hunting is a bit of a fluke even though I haven’t seen it, but otherwise he’s box office poison. I watched Reindeer Games for free and I felt cheated. That’s 90 minutes of my life that I’ll never, never get back. But back to my point.

These are the people we chose to look up to. Why is it that if you get on TV now you’re instantly a celebrity? Why the FUCK is Joey fuckin’ Buttafuco a goddamn celebrity now? Can anyone fucking explain that to me please? He had sex with a minor who then shot his unsuspecting wife in the face. Shit, if I were married I could hook that up. Does that mean I’d get a development deal with the WB? And there’s the LA cretins like Kato Kaelin. Apart from his spectacular bong loading skills he possesses no noteworthy attributes whatsoever apart from being the friend of a famous murderer. And of course that brings us to OJ. I know, it’s all PC and shit to be down on OJ. Do I think he did it? Yes. Do I consider it a crime? Not really, no. That woman was a total bitch to him and I can’t outright say she deserved it, but she sure as fuck asked for it. Perhaps he could have hidden it a little better, but what do you want from a crime of passion? And of course it’s irrelevant since he got off anyway. To quote Sammy Kinison: I don’t condone violence against women. I UNDERSTAND it, but I don’t condone it.

We’ve accepted so much criminal activity from our celebrities that we’re now making celebrities out of our criminals. No wonder we, on a subconscious level, expect so little from the ‘beautiful people’ (And I mean that in the strictest Marilyn Manson sense of the term).

Anyway, these people suck and the public insists on looking to them for leadership and such. And look at them. People are practically giving New York a fucking medal for not immediately resorting to some type of futuristic bloodsport of ritual beheadings for the rulership of the earth when the power went out for a few goddamn hours. Boo-fucking-hoo. Same thing happened a few years ago when California went through it’s little power crisis.

Does it tell you something, New York and Los Angeles, when people look to you in a crisis the way school kids look at the class fuck-up when the teacher has to leave the room? The power went out, you behaved yourselves. Wanna cookie? I’m not going to commend you for doing something that society should reasonably expect from you. Nobody is commending Ohio for keeping their heads. Nobody said a word about the peaceful night spent in Pennsylvania, or the non-looting in Canada. Shit, even Michigan kept their heads about them. Michigan! (Hi Zombs. :D)

You really want to impress me NY/LA? Next time the power goes out, do what I, and probably most of the rest of the world did and normally does: READ A FUCKING BOOK.

Now excuse me, I’m gonna go read ‘Fight Club’ again. Somebody send OJ Jennifer Lopez’s address willya?

I’m Ford W. Maverick, and I’ll see you in hell.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

For those of you who read my last post, and it’s subsequent comments, I would like to take the time to explain that it was sent to me by my favorite old college roommate Mr. Richard C. Sanders. I’d like to apologize to Rich for not mentioning his name in the earlier post. This was done because it has come to my attention that some people actually read this never ending stream of bullshit that I crank out, so I make an effort to not mention too much about any given person lest such information come back and haunt both of us.

In retrospect, I suppose I could have at least mentioned his name and the fact that he sent me the article about our mutual alma mater. So in an effort to make amends this post is dedicated to Rich.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have many fond memories of college life, and Rich was present, if not outright responsible (sometimes in a legal sense) for said memories.

I remember like yesterday those November days when he and my brother would wake before dawn so as to get in as much pre-football drinking as possible. The shotguning, the beer bonging, the projectile vomiting. The sights, the sounds, the smells. These are the things I remember about Rich.

And more, I remember how he’d piss on the elevator of out college apt, how he’d piss out of our fourth floor window, and how he’d piss on anyone that came upstairs to complain that someone pissed on them from the fourth floor as they were walking in the front door. They are fond memories indeed.

And even more I remember the time he got so drunk at a WVU football game that he passed out and whacked his head on the aluminum bleachers so hard that he gashed open his forehead, right between his eyes. He wouldn’t let us take him to the hospital, I mean after all, that would have been like a five minute WALK. No, he insisted that I use super-glue to close the wound because he heard that the pro wrestler Sabu did it. Now, for those of you who question this, it has come to my attention that EMT personnel in some major cities are now employing the same technique, though I’d never have figured it when I was holding the inch long wound shut with one hand and applying super-glue with the other, all the while trying not to drip it in Rich’s eye. It would have been easier if he would have quit drinking for the duration of the procedure, but that would have been an affront to his very being. Such is the man of which I speak.

So I raise my glass to you Rich, the most entertaining, thought-provoking, and just damn interesting roommate a masochist like myself could ask for. Rich, you’re like a brother to me (and given that you know my real brother please don't take that as an insult).

I'm Ford W. Maverick, and I'll see you in hell.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

OK guys, get this. One of my old college roommates sent me an article from our alma mater. It explains that part of Sunnyside, an area notorious for substandard, slumlord housing, has been officially designated a slum. Here's the article. Afterward I'll explain what my fucking beef is with this.

City wants to make Sunnyside shine Morgantown's student district getting a facelift Deanna Wrenn Daily Mail Capitol reporter Wednesday August 20, 2003; 10:00 AM MORGANTOWN --

West Virginia University student Gaelen Lowers can't sit on his toilet without water dripping on him from a leaky ceiling. He doesn't use the refrigerator because blue sparks shoot from the bottom every time it's plugged in. He's got one faucet that never stops dripping and a drop ceiling in one bedroom that's dropped so far it collapsed. Lowers lives in Sunnyside, a legendary/notorious Morgantown neighborhood bordering WVU where students often head for cheap rents and laid-back living. He pays less than $300 a month for his Grant Avenue abode in a section of town recently declared a slum by City Council. "We try to fix it up as much as we can, but hell, it's a Grant Street house," Lowers said. "What can you do?"

The university and city have lots of ideas about what can be done with Sunnyside. They want to change it from couch-burning, football-rioting, block-party Sunnyside to planned-development, nice-apartments, theater-and-entertainment Sunnyside. So far, plans steadily are moving along. Sunnyside is in the midst of hundreds of millions of dollars of proposed development. Dozens of old houses already have been demolished, and more are on their way down. "We're already seeing new buildings going up in Sunnyside," Morgantown City Manager Dan Boroff said. "It will be an opportunity for a brand new atmosphere."

Now that city council declared part of Sunnyside a slum, the city can apply for half a million dollars in a Small Cities Block Grant. It also means more than $600,000 will be pouring into the city each year for the next 10 years to help with infrastructure in the slum area, Mayor Ron Justice said. The city and university already are pitching in $100,000 a year each to support a non-profit organization called Sunnyside Up, which will hire consultants to design a future plan for the neighborhood. Much-needed parking lots are on the way, and WVU already bought an entire block in the area and demolished all the houses there. Private developers are planning more than $200 million of investment, starting with a new apartment building called Augusta on Falling Run Road along the loop near the university's new life sciences building. The Square at Falling Run eventually will include a cinema, apartments, homes, shops, cafes and parking. "It's not just the buildings, it's the uses," Boroff said. "Folks will be able to live and work and go to school right there." The first phase includes the $30 million Augusta, which is depending on $10 million from the state Economic Development Grant Committee and $17 million to $20 million in tax increment financing. More than half a dozen houses along Falling Run have been demolished to make way for the new building. "That really could be one of the key projects in the entire state," Justice said. Developers are becoming more and more interested in Sunnyside as more old buildings go down and new ones go up. Just last week at a city council meeting, Justice learned another developer is working on a $15 million project near Sunnyside's small business area. "It's kind of like a Monopoly game right now," Justice said. Many of the houses and properties that are being snatched up in the development game have seen better days. Sunnyside started being as a neighborhood for university faculty and families more than 70 years ago, Justice said. The houses were meant for single families, not half a dozen college kids. Inspections have been a problem for many homes, and repeated house fires in the area have beefed up enforcement of building codes. If houses don't meet standards, students can't live there. And as more and more houses are torn down in the area, students are moving elsewhere to places that are just as cheap, Justice said. "Students are paying pretty much the price to live in something they want to live in," Justice said. "An Internet hookup, washer/dryer, the whole deal -- those things are more appealing today than they were 10 or 15 years ago. They're paying a little more money to live in those places." Student Michael Mallet, originally from Florida, has lived on Grant Avenue for nine months and gladly would move to a nicer area if he could find a place for the same rent. "I pay $450 a month, and you should see this place," Mallet said. "If you threw some crack vials down, it would look about right. If you went in half these places, you wouldn't believe people lived there." Other students like the proximity to the university and the comfortable atmosphere of house parties and relaxing on front porches. "It's close to campus," said Angie McCombs, of Wheeling. Brooke Bailey, of Charleston, said, "It's fun." Justice said as more new developments pop up along Sunnyside, students will want to come back to the area because of the proximity to the university. They'll have better housing in the future, he hopes, and more things to do. Like other Morgantown officials, Justice envisions the entire neighborhood transforming into something new. "You're going to see the whole area unfold within the next three to five years," Justice said. Until then, Lowers doesn't mind if his home is now located in an official slum. "It doesn't both me," he said. "It's still the same old Sunnyside."

Writer George Gannon contributed to this story.
Writer Deanna Wrenn can be reached at 348-1796.

Now, my problem is thus: the only reason the housing got so bad in the first place is because the people who own the rental properties in Morgantown are on the housing board. I think I'll repeat that because it seems vaguely fucking important.

The people in charge of making sure that the housing is livable are the people who OWN THE FUCKING BUILDINGS. They are also the very same people that made this decision to declare this "Slum Area" and are now, I would assume, making sacks of cash off of this deal.

I love Morgantown and I have many fond memories of it, but it's one of the most corrupt places in the world. The only reason it doesn't self-destruct is because all of the officials and administrators and such are too busy grabbing student cash. I suppose this is the way of the world, but let's not dress up the latest money scam and make it look like benevolence. If you're going to be a money grubbing fucking hypocrite, then be a money grubbing fucking hypocrite. Don't expect a fucking medal from me.

Monday, August 18, 2003

OK, here's something interesting I just learned by accident. I realized some time ago that Blogger reads the content of my blog and uses said content to choose what ads to put on the banner at the top. I kinda thought this was an OK feature in that, if I had to have ads, they were ads for things I like.

So anyway, I did a search on Kazaa-Lite for the horrible Roger Corman, Fantastic Four movie. Only someone who's built up the bad movie tolerance that I have should even look in the general direction of this piece of crap. It was made just because the company that owned the rights to do an FF (That’s short for Fantastic Four for all you HIP people out there…) film had to make a print by a certain date or else lose the rights. So they hired Corman to squeeze out the loaf that was the Fantastic Four feature film.

Anyway, my point is I did this search on Kazaa-Lite, and what appears on my Blogger ad-banner? Two different FF related ads. This sets me to wondering exactly how much of my computer Blogger is, in fact, reading.

Just a thought for all you Blogger fans out there.

It's a wonder I don't have ads for pornography...