Thursday, September 24, 2009

Put on ya wig woman!!!

A Side Civilians Do Not See..........

I just ran across this Australian news story, a history lesson on the many methods WWI and WWII soldiers from various nations tried to weasel their way out of the front lines, or the military altogether. Nothing in the piece shocked or surprised me. In my short time in the military, I have seen so-called "heroes" turn into cowards on a level I could never imagine before.

I've seen grown men purposely piss their beds in boot camp multiple times in order to get "stress discharges".

I've seen marines and sailors, in attempts to get "failure to adjust" discharges, stop taking showers for literally weeks at a time until they are sure you can smell them from another room.

I watched a kid in boot camp, after sneaking a lighter into the compartment, burn into his hand a prison-style mexican gang tattoo hoping it would be enough to get him discharged. His skin will forever be marked with a gang he isn't even affiliated or familiar with.

Another kid in a separate division managed to start a small fire in the head, hoping that being a pyromaniac would be enough to get discharged.

I've seen countless people purposely do drugs to pop on random piss tests.

I've seen countless people threaten suicide, or cut themselves.

A girl in my boot camp division was secretly married to another woman but never disclosed it to the Navy............she waited a couple weeks, saw that boot camp was "too hard" for her, and when the time was right she pulled out her marriage certificate to the RDC's. One way ticket home.

At A-school, I've watched one particular sailor try to eat his way out of the Navy. He broke his leg early in his time here, but over the months has healed up and should have been back to regular weekly PT (physical training) a long time ago. But somewhere in between the time he decided he no longer wanted to be in the Navy. Perhaps the prospect of getting back in shape was too much for him. He's still on crutches in public, but when he turns a corner he walks without them. He gets fatter and fatter by the day. He is in the process of being discharged for it.

In that same vein, another sailor (very much in-shape, unlike the one above) confessed to me that his plan to get out of the Navy is to wait until he arrives at his next duty station, and simply fail 3 PRT's in a row. The PRT is the Navy "Physical Readiness Test". Max pushups in 2 minutes, max situps in 2 minutes, and a mile-and-a-half run. You have to reach certain minima for your age to get passing scores. If you fail 3 in a row, you can be discharged from the Navy.

Maybe the most disgusting of all, I've seen women purposely get pregnant to get out of military service.

It's a side of the military most civilians don't see, but this is just a small sample of the things I've seen, and would be 10 times longer if I included the stories I've heard from others. Military life is definitely not for everyone, but you still have to fulfill your committment and be a man/woman. For some people, this is too much to ask.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Mind is a Terrible Thing..............

I'm a writer. Not in the sense that I sit brooding in front of a typewriter with a glass of bourbon in my shaky hand staring at a leaning stack of unpublished manuscripts for my next alternative history novel.................but in the sense that I write purely as a hobby, almost as much as I write rhymes these days. Just for myself. Maybe one day I'll write something good enough to show someone else or even get published, but for the time being I'm just at that wierdo obsessive stage of gettin' random shit stuck in my head, floating phrases and ideas that I have to get out before they leak out of my ears and ruin my dinner. The way I normally do that is either by texting myself a note on my cell phone, or when that's not available, believe it or not I achieve the same thing by taking a wood and lead device and scratching words on what ancient civilizations called "paper". It's ridiculous, I know, but it's a last resort.

In any form, these notes are almost immediately forgotten and stay that way for months. Then I find them and maybe 10% of them will make any kind of sense. The other 90% make me second guess if maybe I'm really a scizophrenic whose other personality is Animal from the Muppet Show on peyote. Because they're insane, and they're never complete thoughts, just shards of scenes I saw or heard or imagined to remind me later that it's worth formulating into a story or something. To give you an example, here's LITERALLY what was written on a wal-mart reciept I found in my desk drawer today................

"Realistic dream pill two farms papa japan rick-a-shaw"


And yes, I wrote "rick-a-shaw" spelled exactly like that. You're guess is as good as mine, cuz I have no fuckin' idea what it means. I feel like a guy in a movie who just woke up on a rooftop with amnesia and a business card. It's all a mystery.

But you know what...............maybe life is a mystery, and we are all the leading men and ladies.

See how I took a post that was going nowhere fast, and turned it into something heartwarming??! That one's for free, sports fans.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Things that are Incredibly Underrated............

R.L. Burnside's musical recordings
Mushrooms (non-magical)
Telepathy as a superpower
Being the new guy
The color brown
Milton Nasciemento's musical recordings
Fantasia's lips
Ol' fashioned fistfights
Professional actress Tilda Swinton
35mm film cameras
Deja vu
The motion picture The Life Aquatic
Descendents musical recordings
Comedy porn
The desert
Standup Comedian Doug Stanhope
Armchair phrenology
The old Hanna Barbara cartoon "Top Cat"
The motion picture Straw Dogs

That is all.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Move over, Thriller.............

Youtube is still the best website ever. When you're sittin' all alone and it's raining outside, and you're reminiscing to past years, and by chance you catch a little piece of something..............just a little flash memory of something you saw or heard decades ago, something that had a big impression on you as a young kid but you thought was forgotten and lost forever. THAT thing is on youtube, I swear to god. Just look for it, it's there.

I'm one of those people that almost obssessively searches for all my many "THAT things" on youtube for hours and hours on end, and sometime it just really pays off. Today I found this, a music video for the song "Bewitched" by 80's metal gods Candlemass, which I saw in the early 90's while my metalhead uncle and his friends were watching a public access video program. I never remembered who sang it, so I could never find the video. The funny thing is, I have Candlemass albums. They're on my Ipod and all the "Sabbath-ish" playlists, next to Saint Vitus and Kenny Rogers (I might've put him on the wrong playlist)..........but I never connected the two.

Here's my question, though, before you watch it. What's the best music video of all time? Is it really all subjective?

No. The answer is nay, because after your eyes take in this smorgasbord of awesome, you will literally be incapable of disagreeing with me that no better music video has ever been made in human history. The big budget special effects, the cinematography, the acting.......halfway through, you might ask yourself, "Wait a minute, is this a music video or a lost Coppola masterpiece, because I can't tell the difference!" You might even cry, the level of artistry is that high.

So grab a loved one, put it on full screen, this is BEWITCHED!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Something I had to write down............

We found a small restaurant named after a woman, and sat as the sun found shape over the reddish highland mesas, stacked like stone idols from early evolution. Inside my young mind it raised grand and violent scenes of cowboys and raiders clashing and dying on the new mexico desert sandscape, the sky twisting with electric pink so brilliant it burnt the senses.

Nobody puts baby in a coffin!

My friend: "Man I can't believe Patrick Swayze is dead."

Me: "RIP to the best damn cooler in the business."

My friend: "Roadhouse! Awesome. Honestly that was the only thing I liked him in."

Me: "Wow. So you don't like your mom?"

My friend: *look of disgust and hatred*

Me: "I'm just sayin'. That's kinda messed up man. She's still your mother, no matter what she did in the past."

My friend: "You're an idiot."

Me: "You're just mad cuz Uncle Pat is gone and he never took you to the park like he promised. It's ok man, work all those emotions out, I'm here for you. This is good. This is good."

My friend: "This joke is going on way too long."


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Diggin In The Crates...........

Me and two friends from the barracks were bored today and decided to take a field trip to one of the 3 amazing flea markets here in Pensacola. I should clarify that I judge whether a flea market is amazing or not solely based on how many pit bull fights I see in between booths of fake Jordans and throwing stars.

Anytime I go to a flea market, I play a game. I call it the "let's see how much goofy shit we can buy for under $3". I should probably shorten that name if I want the game to get popular. Nonetheless, I spent a grand total of 50 US cents today, and bought two great items.

The first one isn't that goofy, actually. It was a copy of The Federalist Papers. Because when I think of Florida swamp-swimmin' rednecks renting booths in a dirt lot to sell things they think their peers will enjoy, I usually expect to walk out with at least one classic of political theory. At the very least.

So that was one quarter down. We walked around for a while. Some guy tried to sell me a homemade paddle for $2, telling me "trust me man it works", which to me implies that you're tryin' to sell me somethin' that touched your ass. No thanks.

The next booth that caught our eyes was owned by a guy who kinda looked like Newman from Seinfeld, if he was even fatter and wrapped in an indian blanket. He was basically selling comic books, but many other things were up for grabs as well, ranging from samurai swords to homemade aloe vera to decades-old trading cards. We're talkin' Alf cards, Garbage Pail Kids, etc. While the date on some of these cards alone would have been enough to make me throw down some change, I was lookin' for something a little more...........rare. And ridiculously cheesy. Didn't take long for me to find that. My next quarter went to these bad boys, circa 1990...............

Where to start. I'd like to think these were unpopular cards even for their time, but who knows the level of douchbaggery the culture was allowing to thrive 20 years ago. I was only 5, and not a very rad 5 year old at that, so you can't blame me. The cards are structured similar to Garbage Pail Kids, with only a fraction of the artistic value and none of the humor. Each one features a different "totally gnarly" character with a rhyming and/or alliterated name, usually performing some extreme sport or anti-social behavior, ie: radness. There's Messy Marty, the Bicep Brothers, and of course everyone's favorite..........Piggin' Out Owen. They didn't even try with that one.

Here's my favorite two, though, starting with..............

At first glance, it looks like two excited crackheads flaming up in a TigerMart bathroom. But no.........these are the "Cherry Bomb Dudes", and they're about to blow up a toilet. You'd think they would get tired of doing the same thing everyday, but when you name your gang after such a specific activity, your options are kinda limited. Little known fact: the guy on the right later became known as Congressman Ron Paul.

Without further ado, my favorite one by far.............Teasin' Toby.

Now, there's really only two possible scenarios here. Either some marketing guys at Pacific Trading Cards Inc thought, in their pursuit of radical activities with the most mass appeal, that kids loved teasing babies almost as much as half-pipe skateboarding. Or scenario two, possibly even more in 1990 really were teasin' the fuck outta babies, often enough for it to enter the world of stereotype. I have no idea which one is true, but I can't stop laughing everytime I look at Toby's face. Kids of all ages could just walk in and buy this over the counter with their blowpops and big league chew. I doubt they they were mentally equipped or prepared at all to understand even the more normal run-of-the-mill sexual fetishes, much less baby teasing. No wonder they all grew up and filmed themselves wearing diapers on "Porntube".

All in all, the day was a huge success. One of the guys who came with me found a comic book called "Red Son", which apparently is the story of what would happen if baby Superman had landed in Russia instead of America. On the cover, the S on his chest is replaced by a hammer and sickle. He paid $1 for this, mint condition. I was pretty jealous. The other guy didn't buy anything, and mostly was just confused at why we would "waste good money on bad things".

Yeah.............he has no idea what life is all about.