Monday, December 17, 2007

New Jersey bans death penalty

This is an encouraging story, with one state in the union speaking out against capital punishment and setting an example. As expected, hardcore Republicans and victims' families call it "a slap in the face to the victims" and that "the punishment no longer fits the crime." The victims themselves have already suffered, and no amount of executions will reverse it. All it does is satisfy the base need for revenge. It doesn't help anyone but grieving families, and I can't see that it helps them that much. A member of their family is still dead. Although the momentary need for retribution might be satisfied, the void left by the initial death isn't filled by the death of another. I encourage anyone interested in this issue to read "Reflections on the Guillotine" by Albert Camus, which helped strengthen my previous on-the-fence view of capital punishment into an ardent opposition, along with what I've read about criminal profilers and the insights they've gained into the minds of murderers due to interviews that never could have been conducted if the killers had been immediately executed. Robert Ressler, a pioneering FBI profiler, also speaks out against the death penalty in his book Whoever Fights Monsters. The title of his book is taken from a famous quote by Fredrich Nietzche, which is good advice for all law enforcement officials and any wannabe vigilantes (this might not be the exact wording): "He who fights monsters should fight to make sure that he does not become a monster." When tracking the worst of humanity, it's easy to be swept up in revenge fantasies of causing harm to these human monsters, but laws regarding criminal prosecution are there for a reason, because it's so easy to get carried away, and possibly take out one's rage on the wrong person while blinded by rage. I know I'm very different from others, I've been hearing it all my life, and I might not understand "normal" emotions, but I feel that a life behind bars, with nothing but time with the memories of their victims, is punishment enough for a violent criminal. Also, as I've said before, I find the raging cries for execution, which differ very little from savage bloodlust, from many victims' families and the public in general, very disturbing. It's a reminder of the violent urges that lurk in all of us, that we usually manage to control, and need to control for the sake of our society.
Still no good news on the job front. The fact that I left my last job because I was stifled and miserable is very likely affecting my search, but I was thinking about that today, after again not hearing any news. If I left a job because I was unhappy and unproductive, then employers should see my interest in their company as genuine, because I'm not the type to just take any job to make money (although I'm starting to get to that point). But of course, there's very little logic involved in employers' standards, or everyday human interaction.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Colorado church shooting;_ylt=Ao6Pf39fYtjDy9EEh0h7IEdH2ocA

Despite Matthew Murray's anti-Christian diatribes posted online, his motive for opening fire in New Life Church and its youth group building was clearly something far baser and simpler: revenge. Murray was "asked to leave" the church's Youth with a Mission group for undisclosed reasons before his rampage. He wasn't acting on demonic influences or anti-Christian violence; it was just revenge, the motive for so many mass murderers and a familiar one that crosses racial and religious lines. Murray was, like Robert Hawkins in Nebraska, a typical mass murderer: young white male with a grudge and, it appears, mental problems. I just hope the general public remembers this while the nutjob Christians turn this incident into a rallying point for paranoia that the whole world is out to get them for their godliness. And they will; it's what they do.
An interesting side note: the church security guard who stopped Murray by firing a shot and deemed a hero, was reportedly fired from the local police force for lying during an internal investigation, if I read the bottom paragraph of one of the stories correctly. Another side note: New Life Church was founded by disgraced evangelical leader Ted Haggard, brought down by his hypocrisy and lust for male prostitutes.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mass murder in Nebraska mall;_ylt=Ah_BwsKfvqTvng7IepU8lLhH2ocA

19-year-old Robert Hawkins killed six people in a department store before shooting himself. Hawkins fit the prototype of the mass murderer; a history of depression, high school dropout, and a week before his rampage, he had been fired from his job. And of course, those who knew him never saw it coming. Although his friend's mother, who he was living with, found a suicide note the day of the shooting, she never thought Hawkins' suicide would reach the level it did. Hawkins left a note saying, along with expressing regret for the trouble he caused, "Now I'm famous." A depressed nobody trying to make a name for himself with an elaborate suicide; the textbook mass murder. Fifty years ago, Nebraska was the site of another teenager on a killing spree, Charles Starkweather. Starkweather was not on a suicidal mission, but still wanted to make a name for himself and find an outlet for his rage against society.
I have a job interview tomorrow, after showing up late to my interview today. Serves me right for thinking I could get to an address in Falls Church, an area I know nothing about. But tomorrow, I know exacly where I'm going, and will do my best to make the best possible impression. I've been jobless for far too long, and I'm starting to get paranoid about never having an income again. On a positive note, Anthony, the guy I met at Bound right before Thanksgiving, is coming back from his business trip tomorrow. He's been gone for almost three weeks, and I miss him. With the one good thing in my life now temporarily gone, no wonder I slipped into one of my depressions and tried to drink it away last Friday. But maybe it's good that he left for a while. It gave me a chance to miss him, to long for him. It sounds strange, but for most of my life, a guy had to be at least temporarily unavailable for me to be interested. If Anthony gets called out of town often enough, this might actually work, a concept that frightens me a bit because it's so unusual in my life.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Another bad night

I have been trying to crawl out of a cavern of shame since Friday night. I went to the Black Cat for Cryfest (a Cure/Smiths night) and was having a great time until I had a bit of a fifth drink. There must have been something in that drink, or I was officially over my limit, because all of a sudden the staff was trying to throw me out. It wasn't until this happened that I started to get unruly, demanding that I be allowed to get my coat from upstairs. After telling them exactly where my coat was, that it was long black wool and had a Metro card in the left pocket, I get a short black coat with no pockets. I'm not saying that the staff of the Black Cat is stupid, but after giving the same description to a friend who luckily happened to be outside at the time, he quickly came back with the right coat (Thanks so much Joel, I owe you big). What's worse, after the staff tried to give me the wrong coat, they said I'd have to come back tomorrow and make my way home with no coat or Metro card. They'll have to forgive me for not exactly trusting them to hold onto anything overnight. Even when I was crying outside after being told to come back in the morning, and was not causing any more trouble, they refused to let me back in. I know it's all over now, and it worked out for the best, but I keep thinking; what if things hadn't worked out? What if Joel hadn't been outside? What if I had kept shouting and the staff called the cops and I ended up in jail? All I should be thinking about is how I narrowly escaped a disastrous moment, and what I can learn from it. Drinking has always been a social crutch of mine. I become more talkative and less reserved when I drink, and I try to keep it going. It's caused other problems in the past, mostly sex-related with guys I never should have even talked to, but never anything on this level. I was fine until I started on that fifth drink. A guy who was clearly trying to get in my pants bought it for me, so I have my suspicions, especially after I started acting like a maniac immediately after I took a sip. But it was probably just too much alcohol combined with the natural stress of having to explain myself to an unyielding staff who doesn't appear to be helping. I've told myself before, after yet another disappointing one-night stand, that I will drink less, but it never sticks. I'm hoping that, remembering my embarrassing Friday night, I'll make it stick this time.
Before I went out on Friday, I learned that my grandfather had died after a long, off and on struggle with cancer. It hadn't even hit me when I headed out that my grandfather was dead. He was among my favorite extended relatives, but I can't say we were exactly close. In a perverted way, maybe getting drunk and making an ass of myself was the best way to honor his memory, in the spirit his alcoholic Irish Catholic clan.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A rash of domestic murders in Maryland

Domestic murder is the most common type of murder, and the type most often committed by women. The reason for this, why when a woman is murdered the husband is always the prime suspect and often the killer, is, as a friend told me a while ago, most of us have to have a strong emotional connection to someone to get to the point of even considering killing them. Only psychopaths or other emotional defectives feel the urge to kill a total stranger. Or someone so greedy or desperate who kills for money. As the article states, there have been several high-profile incidents in Maryland this past year, often with children as the victims. The murder of a child, especially by their own parents, is always disturbing. Children are almost always innocent victims, caught in the crosshairs of either a mother's severe postpartum depression, one spouse's desire for revenge against the other, or a parent's mental illness. And with most parents' will to protect their children against any type of ill, up to the point of sacrificing their own lives, when a parent ends their child's life, it's an exceptionally sad story, but all too common.
The guy I recently met, though currently out of town, is still calling me frequently, and I saw him again last weekend and had another great night. I'm almost to the point of forgetting the asshole who wanders in and out of my life, who until now I thought could be the love of my life, if he would only stick around. But now I see him for what he is, a coward who can't even tell me his whole story. But this new guy is different, at least that's how it feels at the moment. And I might have a new job soon, if I don't blow this interview like I often have the past few months, if I get that far in my job hunt, which has been rare.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Democratic Presidential candidates

The candidates for President on both sides leave much to be desired. But on the Democratic side, it's particularly distressing. Hillary Clinton, despite being reviled by the right, is displaying increasing levels of Howard Dean-style unfocused insanity, and appears to absolutely refuse to answer questions in a concrete manner. Barak Obama, despite his early promise, has now turned all God-warrior on us, allying with anti-gay ministers, and also refusing to answer questions with anything but empty optimistic phrases. I still hold out a shred of hope for Obama, but I feel he has overstepped his limitations by running for President so soon. And while John Edwards gained my respect with a very strong performance in the 2004 Vice Presidential debate against Der Fuhrer Cheney, after Bill Clinton, the nation is wary of another smooth-talking southerner. I have a soft spot for Joe Biden and his unrehearsed honesty, but unrehearsed honesty doesn't get one far in the political sphere, and it's not enough to hold up a successful Presidency. And while the borderline Marxist in me also has inclinations toward Dennis Kucinich, I don't see how his ideals will translate to the anti-Marxist American stage. But there is one faint beacon of hope: Bill Richardson, the very successful and popular governor of New Mexico. Richardson is a champion of civil rights, an advocate of the environment, opposes the Iraq occupation, supports tax fairness, and, most importantly, has made affordable health care and quality education his top priorities, recognizing the Bush administration's failings in both areas. For transcripts of his cogent and eloquent speeches and outlines of positions, go to Richardson also gets points for recognizing America's energy crisis, and as former Secretary of Energy, he should know. Richardson has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the Middle East and Darfur activism. While all things are subject to change, for the time being, Godless Liberal is endorsing the Honorable Governor Bill Richardson for the next President of the United States.
Maryland's governor, Martin O'Malley, has made some promising strides of his own in his short time as head of the state. I heard him speak on Thursday at Progressive Maryland's awards banquet. While some called his speech a "downer," I found his honesty about the hard road ahead refreshing. O'Malley passed the nation's first living wage law, and is doing his best to close the state's deficit and undo Ehrlich's various damages. And it says something about O'Malley that he is willing to be identified with Progressive Maryland, a group Ehrlich called "wack-jobs." I consider the former governor's words an endorsement. In his pro-rich and pro-business eyes, I guess any group who advocates a slight tax increase for the super-rich is a wack-job. And we wear that tag with honor. Also, Martin O'Malley, unlike many politicians, has a good sense of humor. When one of Progressive Maryland's team members put on a George Bush mask and wandered by the governor doing an impression of our President in name only, O'Malley was, according to those who saw the incident, laughing his ass off.
Here ends my political rant. Not as informed as I would like, and I may come out looking stupid as a result of my lack of thorough research, but for now, I'm comfortable with my positions. And being a member of Progressive Maryland has not only increased my comfort in social situations, but I am also learning more about various social injustices and how to start solving them. But, American politics sure is depressing. No wonder so many of us prefer not to think about it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Norman Mailer dead at 84;_ylt=Au_V2CYMWHJ9VUEGkk_n7Oes0NUE

He may have been a misogynistic asshole in his private life, married six times and almost fatally stabbing his second wife, but Norman Mailer was still a towering figure in American literature. I will always admire him for his iconoclasm and fighting into his last days with "President" George W. Bush, calling Bush on his "pre-fascist" regime.
Todd and I were talking last night at Bound about the very lackluster attendance. Where are all of you? We have a decent space, great music and people, but we're still about 100 guests short. Bound is the only goth-industrial event in DC on Fridays. We need you, and you need us. Still, I managed to have a good night, until I left. I met a great guy named Anthony, who I'm seeing again tonight, and we talked about movies and literature and stupid people, which are among my favorite topics. At the end of the night, around 2 am, he had to drive his friend home, and since he lives near me, he offered me a ride. This was very nice of him, and I wanted more time with him, so I accepted. Bad idea. Not because of Anthony, but because his friend brought some military friends who had to be taken back to base in Southwest. They didn't see the entrance at first, so we had to basically circle around the city to find our way back, which took a very long time. And on our way, we got stuck behind an accident, and had to wait until the ambulances cleared. Luckily, Anthony had some Dave Attell standup routines on his iPod, which helped lighten the mood. It was about 4:30 when we finally got the uniforms back to their barrack. They were lucky I didn't throw them onto the ground myself. To give an idea of how long the trip took, after finishing my fifth drink at the club right before we left, I was completely sober by the time we got to the barracks. Then after that long and painful trip, we had to go to Gaithersburg to drop off a girl at her car, then drive Anthony's friend out to Frederick. I got home at 6 am. By the time we got to my house, I had never had to pee so bad in my life. Still, I enjoyed meeting Anthony, and am looking forward to seeing him tonight. We're going to AFI to see "Taxidermia," a Hungarian film that's part of the European Union Film Showcase. The lesson to be learned in our drive around the circling highways of DC in search of a military base is this: I don't care how they've served their country, never give a soldier a ride home in the wee hours of the morning.
I've met a great guy (the great guy I saw again last week after months of not communicating has stopped communicating yet again, and of course I still can't stop thinking about him), started a not-great but still interesting part-time job at Progressive Maryland with some very cool people, and I have an interview on Monday to work as an SAT tutor. Is my life finally starting to turn around? Or is this just a mirage of a high before my inevitable fall? I guess I should enjoy the good times while they last.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

School shooting in Finland

Finland is a surprising place for a school shooting, an almost entirely American phenomenon. While gun ownership is more common in Finland than in the rest of Europe, the article states, shootings are still rare. The gunman shot several people in the school, including the principal, after putting up a plan for his rampage on YouTube, calling it a "revolution." He then shot himself, but survived. No other information about the shooter or his motives was included, but I will, of course, be following this story.
Some odd political news: Pat Robertson, professional religious wingnut and swindler of the faithful, is backing Rudy Giuliani for president. This is surprising because Giuliani, while I'm not a fan, is at least pro-choice and pro-gay rights, making him a bit too socially permissive and, well, rational for the crazy Christians Robertson represents.
A bit of good news: I officially start training at Progressive Maryland today. Not only am I employed again, I'll be working for something I can be proud of. And when I explained my dissatisfaction with my previous job during my interview, the interviewer not only understood, he fully sympathized and shared stories of corporate bullshit of his own. I think I could be happy there.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A mob story from the old country

There's not much here, just the latest mob boss arrest in Sicily, a guy who was nicknamed "the Baron." Gotta love those Mafia nicknames. His archrival was "the Lawnmower," due to his method of mowing down hit targets. There's also another great Mafia power struggle story, which makes me wonder just how different the mob is from any American government organization or corporation.
On the job front, after months of sending out resumes with no responses, I received two responses in the space of one hour today. I now have two interviews, one with a coffee shop and one with Progressive Maryland, a grassroots political organization. Not my ideal job, but still a good cause, much better than the corporate bullshit I was once subjected to.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Control review

The Joy Division movie Control is definitely worth seeing, not just for the energetic recreation of concert footage that is the closest we will ever get to witnessing a Joy Division show. Sam Riley's performance as the band's tormented lead singer, Ian Curtis, deserves every bit of each glowing review it has received. From his epileptic seizures to his early romantic naivete and later depression to his passionate stage shows, Riley nails every facet of Curtis' complex character, all while having the slim frame, black hair and pale skin to make him every high school goth girl's dream. The final moments, with Joy Division fans knowing how this tragic story will end, when Curtis is facing his homemade noose, then a cut to a wide shot of his wife discovering the unseen body, are heartbreaking. As "Atmosphere" plays over the closing credits, Curtis' solemn voice and sad lyrics take on a new significance. Also, I was thrilled that my favorite JD song, "She's Lost Control," was featured in the film. After coming home, I had to listen to my Joy Division albums.
Personal news: Had a great time at Bound last night. A big thanks to whichever DJ played "Red Right Hand." I met some great new people, and saw a guy I hadn't seen in months, the one who has been slipping in and out of my life ever since we met, when I felt he could be the love of my life. Despite the uncertainty of our history, I was happy to see him, and we got a chance to hang out and talk on our way home. I just hope he doesn't slip away again. But with some of my friends going through nasty divorces and drama-heavy breakups and reunions, maybe I shouldn't rush into anything.

Monday, October 29, 2007

You'll be coming down

Awesome Halloween weekend. The BUG party was a great time, anyone who was there probably heard me screaming. Entre Nous' Halloween bash wasn't as horribly crowded as last year, which made it more enjoyable. As always, there were some great costumes. My friend Scott showed major commitment to his Caesar outfit by wearing nothing but a cape and specially designed underwear, and cutting his hair to match. Holly looked very hot as Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element, and I loved Jen's Princess Leia gold bikini. She's the only woman I know who could pull that off. But the best costume I saw was on the Metro Saturday night on my way to EN. A guy was wearing a Union blue Civil War uniform and hat, and was carrying a bottle. Yes, I'm guessing he was Ulysses S. Grant. Very clever. I wanted to make it to Cradle of Love last night, but I think I had reached my party quota for the weekend. I hope I can see Maverick's Charles Manson costume at an upcoming celebration.
I love Halloween, and celebrating with my friends, but, as is often the case, when I was out I started getting depressed in quiet moments and on the way home. Almost everyone around me was paired up, and I was alone. Sometimes I felt invisible, because I don't have the typical engaging personality, and I'm not exactly a flamboyant attention-grabber like some of my friends. I had a good time, and I'm glad I got out this weekend, but there's always a negative side. The fun passed, and yesterday I was left listening to the new Bruce Springsteen album (excellent, by the way), especially the second track, "You'll Be Coming Down." Something about it got to me, most likely the lyrics about fading youth and beauty, and everything good going bad eventually. After a fun weekend, I'm left listening to depressing music, knowing that for the rest of the week I'll still be unemployed and alone. I might have to leave the apartment I love after this month if I don't get a job soon, I'm too tired and depressed after doing nothing all day to go out or even write, and I never call the friends from the clubs because I assume they don't want to talk to me. I've made a lot of progress from high school, when I had no friends and hated myself to the point of hiding in my room and not talking to anyone, but I'm still too shy to go after a job I want or to develop a friendship, or to keep in contact with a guy who could be the love of my life. But please, don't let me spoil your Halloween fun. I'll figure a way out of this slump somehow.


white roses and misty blue eyes
red mornings, then nothin' but gray skies
a cup of coffee, a heart shot clean through
the jacket you bought me gone daisy gray-blue
you're smiling now but you'll find out
they'll use you up and spit you out now
your head's spinnin' in diamonds and clouds
but pretty soon it turns out

you'll be comin' down now baby
you'll be coming down
what goes around, it comes around and
you'll be comin' down

easy street, a quick buck and true lies
smiles as thin as those dusky blue skies
a silver plate of pearls my golden child
it's all yours at least for a little while
you'll be fine long as your pretty face holds out
then it's gonna get pretty cold out
an empty stream of stars shooting by
you got your hopes on high

you'll be comin' down now baby
you'll be coming down
what goes around, it comes around and
you'll be comin' down

for a while you'll go sparklin' by
just another pretty thing on high

like a thief on a sunday morning
it all falls apart with no warning
your cinnamon sky's gone candy-apple green
the crushed metal of your little flying machine

you'll be comin' down now baby
you'll be coming down
what goes around, it comes around and
you'll be comin' down

you'll be comin' down now baby
you'll be coming down
what goes around, it comes around and
you'll be comin' down

Saturday, October 20, 2007

HIM and Bleeding Through rock the 9:30 Club

Awesome show last night. Bleeding Through, a hardcore punk band with a dark edge, gave the goths a chance to blow off steam before swooning and moping to the romantigoth sounds of HIM. Not that HIM can't rock, the hard renditions of "Wings of a Butterfly" and "My Sweet 666" proved that they are one of the last great rock bands. Unfortunately, due to either sound problems or the instruments, I couldn't always properly hear the piercing guitar that gives so many HIM songs such a powerful edge. Still, a great night at the 9:30 Club, surrounded by my fellow goths and freaks.
The after party at Bound was fun too, even though I had to take a detour around a crime scene to get to it. All I know is that someone fired shots in the area of the 9:30 Club, at a cop according to some rumors, but it seemed to have died down by the time the show was over. I got drunk at Bound, and went downstairs with a guy I met before one of my friends came over and, noticing how drunk I was and couldn't remember the guy's name, dragged me away. I resented it at the time, since I later realized I did know the guy's name, but it is good to have friends, especially when you're trapped in a haze of alcohol and happy that any guy is paying attention to you. The next best thing to not actually making stupid mistakes is having a friend with the foresight to stop you from taking that stupid mistake too far. Also, a big thanks to DJ Rex for keeping the crowd dancing last night, coming all the way from the UK.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New evidence clears Dr. Crippen

A doctor who was accused of murdering his wife could be cleared by new evidence. Dr. Crippen protested his innocence all the way to the gallows, saying that the body found was not that of his wife, and this has been established by new DNA evidence, many years too late.
England, where Crippen was tried and hanged, has since abolished the death penalty, after another innocent man, framed by infamous "Monster of Rillington Place" John Reginald Christie, was posthumously pardoned. America is one of the few first-world countries hanging on to capital punishment, and is one of very few countries that executes juveniles (Iran and Pakistan are among the others). Will the Dr. Crippen case convince other governments to abolish this form of punishment? Probably not, at least while "Texas Justice" Bush is the figurehead of this country, with Dead-Eye Dick by his side. The Dr. Crippen case illustrates a fundamental problem with the death penalty. Death is definite, but human judgment is not. Judgment can be clouded by emotion, desire for revenge, prejudice, health, stress, and so many other factors. Which is a frightening thought when considering that someone else's life could depend on the quality of your judgment.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A night with the JCC

On Tuesday, I went to my friend Steven Lee Beeber's reading/panel discussion at the Black Cat about his book The Heebie Jeebies at CBGBs ( for more info), sponsored by the Jewish Community Center. The reading was great, but the panel left something to be desired. In a previous discussion I had with Steve about the difference between New York punk and DC punk, we mentioned that the DC scene is humorless, and the two DC scenester panelists proved us right. They didn't look like they were having much fun. Maybe they were just afraid of the silent judgment of DC punk legend Ian MacKaye, who was in the audience after we received information that he wouldn't make it. Still, it was a great night. Good crowd, fun venue, and Steve sold a lot of books. I even got a shoutout before the reading began, since I helped him find the perfect outfit for his DC debut.
The Bio Channel's Notorious had a show about a murdered Oklahoma cheerleader the other night, and three teenage boys were the main suspects. One was from the wrong side of the tracks, the other two were good students and athletes. One of the investigators was positive that Randy Woods, one of the suspects, couldn't have been the ringleader because he was in school and "played football." Since when does being a high school athlete make someone incapable of murder? Another straight-A student and star three-sport athlete from Texas made his biggest headlines as part of the most infamous murder case of the 1960s; Charles "Tex" Watson, a member of Charles Manson's "Family." If there's one thing I've learned from studying serial killers and other violent criminals, it's that we never know what anyone's capable of, being rich or smart or attractive or athletic does not mean that there's no violence simmering under the surface.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The raising of a serial killer

Yes, I'm back to my favorite topic. I was watching an episode of Notorious about David Berkowitz, and, unlike many killers, he had generally good things to say about his adoptive parents, but adds that their love "wasn't enough" to ease his violent mind. His troubles with meeting his birth mother is another, tragic story, but Berkowitz managed to have parents who cared about him. His adoptive father expressed surprise and distress at hearing the news about his son. Jeffrey Dahmer's father Lionel, who wrote a book called A Father's Story that I highly recommend, expressed his grief about his son's troubled mind, and his struggle to reconcile his rational mind with his son's irrational actions. Lionel's troubled marriage with Jeffrey's mother, which lead to constant fighting and an eventual divorce, likely caused some strife in the Dahmer house.
Nathan Berkowitz and Lionel Dahmer are the exception, not the rule, in the families of serial killers. Gary Heidnik, who kept women captive in his basement, killing two, had a father who said he "wasn't interested" in his son's trial and conviction, and when Gary was young and wet his bed, his father displayed the soiled sheets on the front lawn. The lives of serial killers are filled with stories of people who should never have been allowed to have children. As Berkowitz and Dahmer displayed, a traumatic upbringing isn't the only factor that creates a killer, but it's a common element in the lives of violent criminals. Edmund Kemper's mother ridiculed his appearance, told him no woman would ever love him, and locked him in the basement because she thought he would molest his sister. Kemper's crimes against women were seen as him lashing out against his mother, and when he killed her, he turned himself in. Ed Gein, the inspiration for Norman Bates, has a religious fanatic mother who drove away his few friends by telling him they came from less pious families, making him believe that a boy's best friend is his mother. Ted Bundy, despite appearances of an idyllic childhood, was primarily raised by his grandfather, a vicious racist and wife-beater. Charles Manson was born to a 16-year-old prostitute and was raised by his uncle, who beat him and punished him by sending him to school in a dress. Henry Lee Lucas' mother also punished him by putting him in dresses, and once hit him so hard with a two-by-four that he lost consciousness. Lucas launched his murder career by killing his mother during an argument. Albert DeSalvo, a serial rapist who was once thought to be the Boston Strangler, had an alcoholic father who beat his wife in front of Albert and his sister, and sold the two children into slavery. John Wayne Gacy's alcoholic father beat and belittled him relentlessly. But a troubled childhood isn't the only thing that went wrong with these men. Dahmer's brother and DeSalvo's sister didn't turn into criminals, although they were raised in the same environment as their infamous siblings. And as Berkowitz said, sometimes a loving family isn't enough to stop the violent thoughts. The origin of the criminal mind remains a mystery.
Although I still don't have another job, I'm in slightly better spirits these days. Bound has a new home, I know I have friends around, and finally, Prison Break is back. Monday's season premiere had me on the edge of my seat. The Company's latest evil plan had me shouting at the screen, and I'm hoping for a reluctant Michael/Mahone alliance in the shithole Panamanian prison they now inhabit. That rat bastard T-Bag has gotten in good with the gangster-like prison ringleader, in typical psychopathic fashion. I think this season is going to be a good one, with the stories set up in the premiere.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bound's first night at Expo

I haven't posted in a while, being in semi-hibernation after quitting my job two weeks ago, but I made it out to Bound for its debut at Expo, just off U Street. The bar sucks (they need more than one bartender) and the bathroom has a smell that would overpower any other public bathroom, and has a strange tumor-like mass in the corner. Other than those things, I had a good time. There's a nice dance floor, a small but effective play space, and tables to sit and hang out with friends, which is one of the major reasons I go to Bound.
Congratulations to Johnny (DJ Panic) and his wife Erin on their first anniversary, which we celebrated last night. I'm happy for them, but Johnny's announcement got me thinking about what's missing from my life, and got me depressed, forcing me to leave earlier than I would have liked. I went home, listened to the Smiths and wrote in my journal about all the guys who ignored, abandoned and rejected me. I met a guy last weekend and had a great time with him, but of course he hasn't called. They never do. I'm trying to figure out how I can learn how to interact with people so they'll want to seek me out to spend time with me, not just hang out when we meet up at the club. The socializing instincts most people are born with and can easily develop are missing in my mind, and it's caused a lot of loneliness and misery. Still, I've managed to meet some great people. I just need to learn more about friendship and relationships.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Is Bound in trouble?

I have received very distressing news about my favorite DC club event, Bound. First, the on-premise SMB v2.0 was postponed due to lack of RSVPs. And now I hear that Bound will no longer be at the R&R Lounge, which is an awesome place in Chinatown and very Metro-accessible, most likely due to lack of attendance that failed to impress the club's owners. To all DC residents looking for a good goth club, go to Bound. Don't let the BDSM elements scare you, there's no pressure to participate. Until Bound gets a new venue, where will I go to satisfy my goth and BDSM cravings? I'd go to Chronos, but I'll have to take a cab home, and the cabs here can never find my place in Takoma without a lot of effort. And Midnight is circling the drain in terms of quality of attendance and music. I just hope the new Bound venue isn't back at Lime or somewhere else in the dark corners of DC, far from the Metro, where sometimes I don't bother taking the trouble to go out that far. If any club owner wants to give Bound a shot, I will do my best to bring up attendance to give this event a permanent home for anyone like me who needs this weekly gathering of cool freaks.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another Bush official bites the dust

Alberto Gonzales, the controversial Attorney General, has resigned. "President" Bush just cannot hold on to his cabinet. Even the ever-loyal Karl Rove announced his resignation earlier this month, and now Gonzales, who steadfastly supported Bush's domestic wiretapping program, is leaving the administration amid allegations that he fired US attorneys under suspicious circumstances and that he lied to Congress about the circumstances of the firings. Who will be next in the Bush camp to defect? This is turning into a political version of Survivor: Who will be the last cabinet member standing by Bush's side?
Now to my favorite subject, violent criminals. I saw a show about Richard Speck (Notorious on the Biography Channel, the best show for people like me), who slaughtered eight student nurses in Chicago in one night in 1966. Like many violent offenders, Speck had a troubled childhood, his father died when he was very young, and his stepfather was a violent alcoholic. As a teenager, Speck began a career of petty burglary and was discharged from the merchant marines for erratic behavior. He married while still a teenager, and supposedly beat his wife. At the time of the mass murder of the nurses, Speck was broke and drinking heavily. Was he lashing out at the world that had not been kind to him, like so many mass murderers? But one of the victims was also raped and tortured before being killed, so it was a more personal crime that the blind rage of Charles Whitman and Cho of Virginia Tech. A commentator in the show said that Speck was not a monster, like we want all our criminals to be, but maybe he was "all too human." The thought that a serial killer or a mass murderer is "all too human" is a difficult one. It implies that we as a species are inherently violent, or have the seeds of viciousness in our genetic makeup, as a recent book (that I have yet to read) argues. But under conditions like those faced by Speck, a history of abuse and disappointments, who wouldn't at least think about lashing out? Most of us have better impulse control than to act on these feelings, but I can personally attest that the feelings exist.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Russian serial killer arrested

As if Russians didn't have enough to worry about with its corrupt and possibly homicidal government, the murderer of at least 49 people has just been arrested. Alexander Pichushkin has confessed to over 60 murders, but there is only evidence in 49, which brings him short of Andrei Chikatilo's record of 53 confirmed killings.
Pichushkin's first murder was at 18, when he killed a classmate. The article doesn't say much about his methods, preferred victims or motives, but he says that he feels compelled to kill, that it was a necessity in his life. How this compulsion started, he doesn't say, and there isn't any information available about his past that would shed a light on this. With many serial killers, the drive to kill comes from fantasies that grow more intense, until they feel they have no choice but to act on them. But since fantasies are always perfect, and reality rarely is, the killer is left unfulfilled, and hopes the next time will be better, which leads to a string of murders before the killer is caught.
Pichushkin's bloated sense of importance, in his statement about being responsible for sending his victims "to the next life" as being a "father" to them, is also common among serial killers. Ted Bundy once said he felt like a god as he felt his victims die. He also echoed Pichushkin in his explanation of his motives, "I just liked to kill."
Pichushkin was caught when a videotape showed him with a victim right before she was killed. The victim also had a piece of paper with his name and phone number. Why would a killer give his victim his real name? Did he want to be caught? Was it a lapse in judgement? Or was it Bundy-style arrogance? A court psychiatrist has labeled Pichushkin as sane, and, from a legal standpoint, he probably is. His actions are inconceivable to most of us, but the level of thought and consideration he put into his crimes and his explanation of them indicates a sound, but diseased, mind. He knew exactly what he was doing when he did it, and enjoyed it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Rove steps down

At least that's the official story. Who knows how much power he will continue to wield unofficially. Some insiders are claiming that the Scooter Libby trial was just a way to cover for Rove, the real leaker of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity. A big show of a trial and conviction, later to be overturned by "President" Bush in a move that outraged his critics, it is a good way to deflect attention and scrutiny from Rove. Rove should have at least five life sentences by now, for all his lying and deceit and backhanded tricks in helping to run the country. Libby might have been a liar and a cheat, but he was nothing compared to "Bush's Brain."
In other government conspiracy news, a great moment in Bolshevik history. I was watching one of my favorite cable shows last night, Infamous Murders on History International, and it mentioned a Bulgarian dissident who was murdered after his broadcasts accusing the communist dictatorship in the country of corruption. The cause of death was poison, and he was murdered in England, which sounds dangerously similar to the recent death of a Russian exile and critic of Putin's regime. And the Bulgarian murder was on the dictator's birthday, like the journalist who was recently murdered on Putin's birthday after criticizing Russian policies and Putin's administration.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Why do I bother?

A guy who I haven't heard from in weeks showed up at Bound last night, telling me all the reasons he hasn't contacted me. He said that he came out because he thought I might be there. If that's true, it's one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. But I have a difficult time believing him. So many people have lied to me throughout my life, especially men, that I have to have a healthy dose of doubt about anything they say. And he says he can't be in a relationship right now. I want to believe him, because I like him and had a good feeling about him, but my history with men, and the other girl I saw him with last night, give me a bad feeling. One of my problems is, I assume that anytime someone says they can't talk to me or see me, it must be my fault. I assume that everyone I meet will hate me, because they'll somehow manage to read my mind and see my various insanities. It's not the best way to live, I know, but I can't help it, not even after years of situating myself in the social sphere, and therapy. I hope this guy's telling the truth, even just to give me a shred of faith in humanity and my future chances of a happy relationship.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Gainesville Ripper thoughts

Here's an unsettling bit of information: tabloid king and Fox News czar Rupert Murdoch has all but taken over the Wall Street Journal. I wonder if this will lead to the reputable publication's decline, as Murdoch's takeover did to the New York Post many years ago.
Late last Saturday night, I tried to get some writing done, but ended up watching an "American Justice" episode about Danny Rolling, the killer who terrorized university students in Florida in the early 1990s. At first, trying to deflect blame from himself, he blamed an alter ego called "Gemini," since he couldn't claim he wasn't guilty. His DNA was all over the crime scenes. In an interview with Rolling shortly before his execution, he says about the DNA test, "The test came back and, bingo," in a cold tone that is frightening to the rest of the world but very common among killers of Rolling's type.
In many ways, Rolling fits the standard profile of a serial killer. He had a rough childhood with a strict police officer father who he says "didn't allow for individuality" and abused him and his brother. He said he started to "walk the streets at night" to get away from his father, because "home was not a safe place," which could have been where he was introduced to his future life of crime. After he was charged with the Florida murders, Rolling was also charged with the attempted murder of his father of many years ago, in which Danny was the prime suspect. Danny Rolling started out with petty burglaries, breaking and entering, and eventually worked his way up to murder. Some psychologists think he chose college students because they symbolized the priviledged life that he, as a high school dropout and career criminal, had thrown away. He tried the military, but didn't last long. A psychiatrist there saw signs of antisocial personality and problems with authority. This brings to mind John Allen Muhammad, the Beltway Sniper, who was court-martialed twice during his time in the military for insubordination. As much as antisocial personalities want the power they feel comes with being in the military or law enforcement, their self-absorption and unwillingness to take the advice or orders of anyone else leads them into trouble in these fields. A prison psychologist diagnosed Rolling with borderline personality disorder, which is primarily characterized by an irrational fear of abandonment. Others who spoke with Rolling in prison say he was obsessed with how he would be remembered, another trait typical of the narcissism of serial killers. For many, a major reason they start killing is to feel the power and get the recognition they feel they deserve, and don't get from their often mundane lives. The psychologist also called Rolling "very immature," and said he had a problem with empathy. Many serial killers, and criminals in general, have limited emotional development. They still have the selfishness and irrational demands of a child, without the concern and awareness of others that most of us develop as we mature.
Authorities first got Rolling for the university murders when he was in jail for another crime, and he confessed to his cellmate, a convicted murderer, who promptly reported the confession to prison officials. When later questioned by the police, Rolling would only make his confession through his cellmate. At his trial, Rolling looked away from grisly photos of the crime scenes, claiming in an interview that he couldn't stand to look at them, and asked himself, "What have you done?" Was this a sign of remorse? According to the prosecutor, who zealously sought the death penalty, Rolling's expressionless face during the trial and the savage nature of his crimes were signs of someone who has no respect or remorse for others. Rolling says he confessed "for his maker" to make amends for what he did, since he knew he would likely die soon. He never showed any other signs of remorse, and as we all know about serial killers, they will readily lie to protect themselves. Rolling is a confusing character, and now that he's dead, we'll never know why he did what he did or how he would feel about it years later.
The more I read about crime and serial killers, the more I oppose the death penalty. On a show I saw about Joel Rifkin, currently serving a life term for 17 murders in the New York area, his interview, however disjointed at times, provided some strong insights into the mind of a killer. We wouldn't have had these insights if Rifkin had been executed. If all serial killers had been executed immediately after their crimes, as some of the more fanatic among the population demand, the pioneering Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI couldn't have conducted their interviews with Edmund Kemper, Charles Manson and many others that led to the development of the modern law enforcement technique of criminal profiling. The prosecutor in Rolling's case, and the anger in the eyes and voices of his victims families, demanding a death sentence based on the brutality of his crimes, did little to dissuade me from my belief that capital punishment is all about revenge.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Crime stories;_ylt=AnVWEv_1boVTDM0uOMvY1hFbIwgF

The name Coral Eugene Watts sounds vaguely familiar from the many books I've read about serial killers, but I'm not very familiar with his case. From what I gathered from the article, he's a woman-hating killer in the vein of Ted Bundy, with, according to his latest confession, almost as high a body count. Prosecutors in a 30-year-old murder case that has been tied to Watts are worried that his confession will be prejudicial, establishing him as a violent offender. That he's already in prison on a similar offense should be evidence enough that he has the inclination toward violence. But like I said, I'm not familiar with the case or Watts' history, but I'm intrigued, and will have more when I find out more.;_ylt=AgGfTnUK73WQKCODMaqxyM9bIwgF

A trial is under way for a suspect in the "Baseline" crime spree, but on shaky evidence. Prosecutors have implied they have the defendant's DNA from the body of a rape victim, but the defense disputes this. Also, the two rape victims failed to pick the defendant out of a lineup months ago, and only now identify him as their attacker, exactly the type of inconsistent eyewitness testimony that any good defense attorney enjoys ripping to shreds. The story doesn't say anything about the many other offenses for which the suspect is on trial, only that he has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

I was watching a show about Ed Gein, the inspiration for Psycho, a few nights back. He is one of very few murderers who has successfully pleaded insanity. Under the thumb of his religious fanatic mother, Gein had an isolated existence, dropping out of school at 14 to work on his family's farm. His mother drove away his few friends because she didn't approve of their less devout families, and he spent his life worshipping her, fearing her and loathing her. The two women he killed were middle-aged businesswomen, like his dead mother. The bodies he dug up from the local cemetery were middle-aged women. Gein was a classic necrophile. He killed his victims with a long-range shotgun, and his energies were devoted to desecrating their corpses. As psychologists have suggested, he probably hated his mother on some level for her domineering nature, but due to his fear and childlike idolation of her, he wouldn't admit it, even to himself. Instead, his hatred was taken out on female corpses. Gein was judged incompetent to stand trial, seemingly unaware of his actions and their consequences. At one point during his hearing, a journalist recalls him saying, "What are they going to do to me?" He was kept in a childlike state his entire life, due to his overbearing mother who wouldn't let him out into the world, and after she died, he was left alone with his twisted fantasy life, unaware of how to cope without his mother's guidance. Left on his own, he descended into madness unabated by contact with the real world.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Job status

I went in for my review at the scheduled time, but my boss, being the forgetful person that he is, apparently forgot about it. I still took some time to tell him that I was ready to leave the company. Showing genuine concern for my welfare, which shocked me, he insisted that I stay for another month or so, until I found another job, and submit a formal letter of resignation for that time. So I'll be staying until the end of August, trying to make it through.
This job has been a great opportunity for me as my first real job just out of college, but I just can't do it anymore. All day I read through the muck of people who can barely write, just to send it to a luxury hotel to better improve their kiss-ass service techniques and therefore scam more money off the spoiled rich clients that are the only ones who can afford to stay there. I'm not aiding in anything blatantly unethical, like letting Scooter Libby out of prison or defending corporations in exploiting their workers, but I don't feel right about what the company does. Maybe I'm overreacting. I do that sometimes. But I'll stick around for a while longer, letting my bosses know that I'm not comfortable there and intend to leave as soon as I can.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fighting back against lame come-ons

It's happened again. Another barely literate guy tries to "compliment" me on MySpace: "had to let u no i love ur pix u got a great bodyn ur to me bad grl look is a big turn on" Had this guy bothered to read my profile, which they barely do, but I can hope, he would have seen that I prefer a guy to be somewhat articulate and interested in what I am interested in before I will talk to him. I've seen text messages more coherent than this email. And he sends yet another message, which reads: "i need to no
Body: do u draw cuz i wanna get another tat n i want a nice bloody goth pic but i no no1 to draw me 1" For the record, "no" and "know" are two very different words.
If anyone has read the great comic strip Pearls Before Swine, there is a zebra character who is constantly foiling his insanely stupid crocodile predators with the simplest logic. My dad told me that the zebra reminds him of me, and I can see parallels between the zebra's battle with the crocodiles and my battle with stupid guys trying to snare me with lame and futile methods. I was walking last weekend, and some guy pulled over in his SUV. Thinking he was going to ask for directions, I stopped. But no, the guy just wanted to tell me I was "very attractive." While nicer than some of what I've gotten over the years, some guy who had no idea who I really was tried to flatter me into his pants solely based on how I look. He probably thought that because he was slightly articulate, I would have responded, but his motives were the same as any catcaller, and I walked by him just as I have with so many others before him. I'm sure I've been classified as a bitch by these guys, but they don't respond to anything but the most obvious rejection. With some guys, if you just make eye contact with them once, they'll think you're interested. So anyone who gets unwanted advances from this type of guy has to be firm, even a little mean, to get the point across. Besides, why should we care what these idiots think about us?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The human thirst for revenge

I was watching a show about the Yosemite Killer today, and a family member of one victim said she just wanted the killer "gone." I took this as a request for the death penalty. In another show I saw about Pedro Lopez, who murdered as many as 200 young women in South America, the families of the victims were all but forming a lynch mob to track him and murder him. Maybe it's because I've never lost a loved one to a violent crime, but all of this is a little unsettling to me. Grief makes people do crazy things, but why should bloodlust be among them? Wasn't the desire to take a human life what caused the problem in the first place? As rational human beings, we should be able to rise above the baser instincts that the rapists and murderers of society let themselves fall prey to. Some advocates of capital punishment say that it's about more than revenge, but with both FBI profiler John Douglas and one of Ted Bundy's would-be victims expressing a desire to "pull the switch," it makes me doubt that it's about anything but revenge. The desire for revenge lives in all of us, but we're a civilized society. Haven't we grown beyond the medieval practice of public hangings? As FBI profiler Robert Ressler says in his book Whoever Fights Monsters, the thousands of dollars spent by the state to execute Ted Bundy to sate the bloodlust of the outraged public could have been put to much better use, such as building crime labs, training law enforcement officials and research.
Onto the personal front. The guy I met a month ago, who I thought could be the love of my life, told me he can't be involved with anyone right now. We still talk, but he said he might not even be in the area much longer, and I feel like the forces of luck have conspired against me yet again. I may have found the perfect man, but I just found him at the wrong time.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sex crimes in Iraq;_ylt=Ag9MHQvO2VlOwkQF8np.C5BvzwcF

A US soldier accused of raping, murdering and burning the body of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl may finally face his day in court. Though I'm opposed to the Iraq war, I recognize that this type of war crime is not unique to Iraq. Soldiers dating back to the Middle Ages, and likely even earlier, have used combat to cover for more personal crimes, and were sometimes rewarded for their efforts. Goya's classic art series "The Disasters of War," from the 1800s, chronicles countless atrocities committed by soldiers. The motivation of this particular soldier in Iraq is unclear, but it appears to be a mixture of opportunity, a conquering warrior syndrome and a sense of entitlement. He saw a helpless young woman who was a member of an enemy nation and took advantage of her, then burned the evidence and killed the witnesses, the girl's family. The only thing that makes him and the brutality of his crimes different from an ordinary rapist and murderer is his military status, and the enemy status of the victims. If he was a civilian living in the United States, he'd likely be executed for the same actions.
Scooter Libby won't be going to prison, because "President" Bush thinks that a 30-month sentence is too harsh for leaking the identity of a CIA agent, thereby endangering her life. But he claims that with the fine and the "damage" to Libby's reputation, Libby will not get off free. I'm not inclined to trust George W. Bush after what he's done with his presidency, and this feels like cronyism and currying favor among the conservatives he's alienated, as some have suggested. The fact that the CIA agent's husband, a US ambassador, was a vocal critic of Bush's Iraq policy leads to more suspicion of just how aware Bush was of Libby's crimes and how much he allowed to happen. There are rumors that Libby will get a full pardon, and while this won't be the first questionable presidential pardon, from Ford pardoning Nixon to Clinton letting Marc Rich off the hook and Bush Senior absolving Iran-Contra criminals, it will be another black mark on Bush Junior's presidential record.
Personal note: DC's Summer Masquerade Ball is less than two weeks away, and I still don't have an outfit. I'll be using my day off tomorrow to hit the stores in hopes of finding one, and waste time today when I should be working searching online for inspiration. But whatever I end up wearing, I can't wait for SMB. All the years I've gone, I've had an amazing night, and it looks like this year will be bigger and better than ever, with three floors and a rooftop deck, bands, models (including the goddess Julie Simone), fetish carnival games and the usual crew of kick-ass DJs and my good friends. And I might get to bring the latest object of my adoration, one I have high hopes for. I just hope this one doesn't turn out to be one in a long string of disappointments.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Putin's regime throws up a smokescreen;_ylt=AjcRZnSbP2XIb6GpuR4GJZ10bBAF

A friend of a Russian dissident who was poisoned under mysterious circumstances has been charged by Putin's administration for "plotting to overthrow the government," because of a comment he made in a British newspaper that only force could changed the undemocratic Russian regime. I guess freedom of speech isn't valued in today's Russia any more than it was under Stalin. With Putin and his associates under suspicion for the dissident and former Russian secret service officer's murder, they've charged an emigre with a crime for the sole purpose of distraction, and making the victim look bad through association with a man who they have charged with treason.
On the personal front, I had a great weekend. On Saturday I went to EN, where I got a dose of body paint and had a great time hanging out with Azure and some newcomers, and an impromtu photo shoot with Larry B. On Friday I went to a Bound special event, where I had a second encounter with a guy I met at Bound on my birthday. We had been emailing in the interim, but I really feel something with this guy. He's very hot, which helps, but he's also smart, interesting and sounds like he gets me, which is very rare in people I've met. I had other friends there, but I couldn't stop talking to him. I know my instincts have been wrong before, and I've ended up getting badly hurt because of it, but I'm hoping for something different with this one. Soon I'll either be putting up elated posts about the amazing new guy in my life, or I'll return to my lovelorn state with posts to match.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Another lame pick-up attempt

Bound was amazing last Friday; great bands, good friends (including a few I haven't seen in far too long), a lot of fun. But of course, it had to be spoiled by some loser using one of the worst pick-up lines ever. It wasn't even really a line, just a rambling story from some loser trying to get my attention. He approached me in the bathroom, and asked if he could "tell me a story." I was mildly curious to see where he was going, so I agreed. The parts of what he called a story that I could follow included some friends from Tibet or some other Asian country. When I asked if there was a point to his "story," he said there was, but continued on his apparently aimless path. When I told him I was bored, he said "Enjoy your life" and left. I'm not sure what that was supposed to mean, but at least he left me alone after that. Any guy at Bound who wears baggy jeans and an off-kilter baseball cap like this guy was is going to have a hard time meeting any girl who will pay attention to him, especially with such lame material.
Another thing that pisses me off (yes, it's Monday and I'm in a bad mood): politically, I identify as a liberal, but I hate being categorized through this identification as an overly sensitive member of the PC police, just as I'm sure more socially permissive conservatives resent being lumped in with their more prudish, Bible-thumping counterparts. I have mixed feelings about issues like affirmative action and gun control: does purposely hiring minorities really help them get ahead, or does it just breed more racial strife and the thought that minorities need a helping hand (the same reason I'm on the fence about hate crime legislation)? Maybe there was a time when affirmative action was necessary, but has that time passed? I don't have enough information to be sure. I know banning guns won't stop crime, and people who really want guns will always find a way to get them, legally or illegally. I don't agree with Newt Gingrich's recent assertion that more guns would have stopped the Virginia Tech massacre, and how did such a mentally unstable young man get guns anyway? The shooting was entirely his fault, not the guns, but weapons should be kept out of the hands of people so clearly disturbed. As a blogger friend said about gun-crazy Gingrich, you don't see crimes like Virginia Tech in countries like Sweden or Japan, where gun laws are much stricter. Not everyone who buys a gun uses it for such nefarious purposes, and I'm not about to stop people from hunting, even though I find things like game hunting, with no clear purpose except sport, morally reprehensible. I wouldn't support banning gun ownership altogether, but not only do I find the idea of stockpiling assault weapons in one's home a frightening concept, I don't really see the point. When is an ordinary person going to use an assault weapon? But Americans love guns, something the rest of the world doesn't understand, and some might buy assault weapons just because they can. Heavily armed households frighten me, as does the concept of unfettered capitalism, another American conservative treasured tenet. Corporations, not exactly known for ethical behavior, being given free reign is disturbing. And I don't mind paying taxes, even if a good deal of the money is currently going to abstinence-based sex education and a dead-end war.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reality to Vatican: Are you listening?;_ylt=AmXEPN58baCDWIw4J0qPxwE7Xs8F

The Vatican hates abortion. That has been made abundantly clear. Now they're advocating that their millions of followers withdraw support from Amnesty International, who they claim have been swayed by the evil forces of the pro-choice movement. Actually, Amnesty International doesn't have a public position on this issue, but they do support the fair treatment and safe harboring of women who have had abortions, and the health interests of women, which, to the misogynistic Vatican's dismay, may include a woman's right to have an abortion if she so chooses. So the Catholic Church's problem with Amnesty International isn't so much that they support abortion, but that they don't preach the evils of abortion like Catholic officials do at every opportunity. Some Catholic charities do good work, but I'm always wary of religious groups going to third world countries offering relief. The people in these countries are rarely Christian, and we know how some religious types love to spread their faith, especially in exchange for good deeds. The late Pope John Paul II, for his part, was a vocal opponent of capital punishment and the Iraq war, but he also called the right to choose "the culture of death" and opposed changing church doctrine in any way, even in recognition of women's rights and the changing world. Vatican officials also oppose UNICEF's practice of giving post-conception spermicides to women who have been raped. Terrible, right? Giving aid to traumatized women is unthinkable in Vatican doctrine if it leads to the termination of a pregnancy. Catholics in Los Angeles, in the midst of priests in its diocese finally going on trial for abusing children, are worried that their Hispanic population is going to evangelical churches. Just another organization trying to hold onto its followers, all while preaching a doctrine straight out of the Middle Ages. And my parents wonder why I want nothing to do with this institution.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Birthday weekend is over

I had a great weekend. Bound on Friday, Entre Nous on Saturday, and lots of booze and friends. Todd helped mix me a special drink on Friday, and Azure kept me loaded with champagne shots on Saturday. And on Saturday, I actually saw a guy for a second time when he picked me up at EN. I'm still figuring out if I really like this guy or not, and I met a guy at Bound who I liked but have yet to call. A special thanks to the DJs at Bound and EN for keeping me dancing; Solaris, London and Ms. Panic (aka Erin) at Bound and KC and Larry B. at EN. I think 25 will be a good year.
With another year of my life behind me, I've decided to make a few changes. The first is, I need to get a new job. My current job pays well, and I generally like the people I work with, but the work itself is tedious, shallow and gives me very little satisfaction. That's probably true about almost any regular office job, but I think it's time to move on. I've applied to a couple new publishing positions, and with more experience on my resume, hopefully I'll have more luck getting the jobs I really want, rather than settling for cleaning up corporate bullshit like I do now.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Fake cop arrested;_ylt=AgcKHzcWIqaLjFZRZ57KLwdbIwgF

A man posing as a cop in order to rape women and steal money has been arrested in New York. The story reminded me of the stories of many serial killers who had aspired to be police officers. John Douglas, pioneering FBI criminal profiler, offered an explanation that made a lot of sense. These men want power, power over their victims, over life and death. A police officer, as the imposter in New York illustrates, symbolizes power and is authorized to be violent if the situation calls for it. So it's no wonder that Ted Bundy, Edmund Kemper, Wayne Williams (who, prior to his arrest in the Atlanta Child Murders, had been charged with impersonating a police officer) and Gerald Schaeffer, a former deputy sheriff in Florida who used his position to kidnap and murder several young women, wanted to become members of law enforcement, although they all ended up on the other end of the law and order chase.
In other crime news, Scooter Libby, former aide to Satan (aka Dick Cheney), has been sentenced to 30 months in prison. Any chance he'll serve his entire sentence? And, what will happen to a guy nicknamed Scooter in prison? Also, six foreign men have been charged with a plot to murder US military personnel. Why would they want to turn soldiers into martyrs, and give the US government more ammunition for their paranoid mindset that the rest of the world is out to destroy America? But I guess militants aren't exactly known for logic and common sense.
I recently found out that Vladimir Putin, Russia's current leader, was once a KGB officer, a member of an elite government-leased intimidation squad. With his opponents turning up dead one by one, and his shady past, it makes me wonder. And with his vow to block a planned missle defense shield supported by "President" Bush, US relations with Russia could start cooling again. Whether it cools to the point of another Cold War remains to be seen, and if US military officials and other supporters of the missle defense plan turn up on Putin's hit list.
My birthday celebration kicked off at Chronos last night, but I had to leave early because I started to get tired, and because I had to work today. I had a good time while I was there though: great music (thanks to the DJ who played Leonard Cohen's "The Future"), lots of freaks, and the goddess Bebe, who let me share her birthday party, even though, as expected, she was the star of the night. The one downside, besides having to leave early: some bleach-blond, eyeliner-smeared guy kept trying to come up to me. He approached me once with his arms stretched out, like I was someone he knew, and when I recoiled, he looked surprised. He probably thought I looked like I wasn't having a good time, and decided to take it upon himself to "cheer me up." First of all, it's a goth club, I shouldn't feel out of place for not smiling. Second, I had no idea who this guy was, and a total stranger reaching his arms out to me and standing in front of me waiting for me to respond like I was his best friend is just strange, even for Chronos. On my way out, I heard something amusing. A Five staff member was standing outside talking to someone, who asked "What's it like in there?" The staff member, with a note of disbelief, said, "Like Halloween." That's exactly how we like it. How often in this world do we get to dress up and express ourselves in any way we want? It makes me think of a Twilight Zone-esque alternate universe: Who are the real freaks here?

Monday, June 04, 2007


The AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring is currently holding, among other events, a Northern Ireland film festival, and yesterday I saw a movie called Middletown. It's the story of a fanatic preacher who comes back to his desolate hometown to rid it of perceived "sin," only to alienate his family, who owns the local pub, in the process. The scariest thing about this preacher, and many other "men of God," is the sense of entitlement he feels, because as a child, the local preacher told him he was "chosen by God" to carry out divine purpose on earth. Even as his family's pub is going under, due in part to his sermons, he doesn't reach out to them, but instead continues his preaching against sin, and when he decides to rid his church home of "decadent" material wealth, he burns it instead of giving it to the many needy citizens of the town, including his brother, whose wife is pregant, and lives in a cramped trailer. Another startling element in the preacher's character is how unhappy he is. He never seems to get any joy out of what he does and isolates himself from the community except on Sundays, but is blindly in the service of an invisible boss. Fanatics who live their life solely for the purpose of buying a spot in heaven after death are rarely happy, and how could they be when they've devoted their present life to the afterlife.
On the personal front, I went out for some pre-birthday partying this past weekend, and had a great time, even though I ran into my two asshole exes. I was pleased with myself at how quickly I forgot them. Also, there's another potential guy in my life, who I met at Bound two weeks ago and saw again when he picked me up at EN last Saturday. Who knows how this one will turn out, and even when a guy says he likes me, from my experience, that's no guarantee that he won't screw me over somewhere down the line. He said he'd be at Bound this Friday for my birthday, and if he doesn't show up, I'll still have my friends to celebrate with me. I'm looking forward to this weekend, and just have to get through the work week.

Monday, May 21, 2007

My lost weekend

I had a fun, crazy, intoxicated weekend. On Friday I checked out Bound at its new venue in Chinatown, a much better neighborhood and more Metro-accessible than Lime in Southwest. The new place has a great deconstructed underground look, and the bar staff is much better than at Lime. It's a bit on the small side, but compared to all the good points, I would much rather stay there then go back to Lime. I saw all my good friends, had a few too many drinks, enjoyed my friend Cat's performance on top of the bar. She was dressed like a 60s gogo dancer, which made it even better. I saw one of the bartenders lean down to look up her dress. And I met a DC cop and got his number. Yes, after years of fantasizing, I finally hooked up with a cop. Then on Saturday, I went to Entre Nous, where I saw even more friends, got drunk again (the Jello shot Angelo gave me was the beginning of the end) and just generally had a good time. On my way home, I text messaged the cop I met just the night before, unaware in my intoxicated state that he would have no idea who I was. Yesterday, I got a puzzled phone call from him, and after I explained, he remembered who I was. But I was scared to call him at first. I always am. I've collected a few guys' phone numbers and have never called them, because I'm afraid. Afraid of what to say, afraid they won't remember me or they will remember me and not want to talk to me. After doing something as stupid as drunkenly texting someone I had just met, I had yet another hurdle to climb over if I called this guy. But after he called, he just laughed it off after I explained it. This has happened before, I do something I think is so stupid that it will turn someone off of me forever, and they just laugh about it and forget it. But I still get scared if I have to call someone for the first time. I hope this gets easier, and it has over the past few years, but there are still some walls I have to get over.
I spent most of yesterday trying to get my mind cleared and get back on my feet. I try not to overdo it with drinking, but this past weekend I had a hard time knowing when to stop. It was my lost weekend, but luckily I still remember parts of it, like a new guy and Cat on the bar. I'll be in Boston for most of Memorial Day weekend, but I'll be back out soon, definitely in two weeks when I celebrate my 25th birthday with a three-night party weekend. I hope to see all my friends out to celebrate with me.

Friday, May 18, 2007

LA serial killer convicted;_ylt=Aqr9SFJ8gjLPMpaOi8OT.ytbIwgF

There's very little in here about the killer himself, except that he was convicted of 10 murders while already in prison on a rape charge, and that he showed no emotion during his trial. I was watching a TV special about Dennis Rader (BTK) last night, and his coldness in describing his murders was chilling, but very common among murderers of that type. What I found interesting about this article was a quote from the mother of one of the victims, responding to the question of whether the killer should be sentenced to death or life without parole. Contrary to what many proponents of the death penalty say about the death sentence being for the benefit of the victims' families, this woman is in favor of a life sentence, so he can "think about this." A life sentence, with the removal from society and isolation, does seem like a more fitting penalty than death, for exactly that reason. And unlike capital punishment, if new evidence were to come out exonerating the convicted offender, a life sentence is reversible.
In other crime news, four men were charged in the case of an 18-year-old Bosnian immigrant who killed five people in a Utah mall back in February for illegally selling guns to the killer. The attorneys for the defendants charge that their clients did not know they were doing anything wrong, and with the gunman himself killed during his rampage, Utah officials might just be searching for someone to convict in his absence.
From serial killers and mass murderers, now I'll briefly address Mafia hitmen. I caught a snippet of an interview with a former hitman on TV last night, and he described the work that he did. He worked as a contractor (hence the term "contract killer"), carrying out the wishes of his bosses. One wanted him to cut out the victim's tongue, another wanted him to cut out the tongue and shove it up the victim's ass, to get a message across. He came across as cold, because that was his job. Murder wasn't a means of gratification to him, it was just a way to earn a living. He had to become cold inside to do it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More religious bullshit;_ylt=Ak69X_AH3D2QhP8pnboWtQY7Xs8F

When will the Vatican join the 21st century? As Pope Benedict's recent tour of Latin America illustrated, the church's antiquated ideals of chastity and opposition to birth control are far more important than the very real threat of AIDS in that part of the world and the changing social mores everywhere. This is the same man who told the people of the overpopulated and undernourished regions of Africa to "be fruitful and multiply." I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The Vatican is insulated in its own medieval world, all but ignorant of how society has changed. Yes, people now have sex before marriage, some women want to terminate unwanted pregnancies and control whether or not they become pregnant, and AIDS is a very real threat that can't be quelled through prayer and holy water, but condoms can be used to stop the spread of a disease that has taken many lives. Aren't Catholics supposed to respect the sanctity of life? Homosexuality is now generally accepted, whether the church likes it or not. And women actually want to be in positions of authority. Focusing on these little issues is the reason young people are leaving the church, not some demonic influence or the rise of other religions. For their part, certain progressive Catholic groups in Brazil protested the Pope's words, contending that spiritual growth should accept change rather than oppose it. The world has changed since the Middle Ages, when the Catholic Church reigned over all aspects of life and could promote its gospel of misogyny and forced chastity at will. Some more extreme members of the church still think they have that power, but for the most part, the world has stopped listening.;_ylt=AmhQYndfh3e3pb5SOdU5qCg7Xs8F

On the subject of misogynistic religions, Muslim women in Europe are "regaining" their virginity through operations. Many of the women interviewed in the article said they did it because their future husbands expect to marry a virgin, and they've had premarital sex. I understand that some sexual encounters may be a source of regret, but if a man values a woman's virginity more than the woman herself, maybe the woman shouldn't be marrying him. If someone loves you, they will accept your past mistakes as in the past, and not demand an operation to "correct" it, or, in the case of most of these women, not even know because the operation was performed without the man's knowledge. These marriages, starting out on a lie, are not healthy. Another retreat, brought to us by religious fervor, back to the medieval days of enforced chastity (for women only) and faith spitting in reason's face.

That story makes me sick. Onto a happier topic. Bound is reopening this Friday at a more accesible venue, which means I can probably get out there more often. I desperately wanted to go last week to celebrate Dolphy's birthday with her (I'm sorry again that I missed it Dolphy, how can I make it up to you?), but collapsed when I got home from work and was in no mood to trek down to Southwest. After being unable to attend two friends' birthday celebrations (Dolphy and Trinity), with my birthday coming up in a few weeks, why should I expect anyone to show up at my celebration? Hopefully they'll come out anyway, and I hope they understand that I really wanted to go to their parties. I'm kind of new at this whole "having friends" thing, and getting out to see them sometimes requires a concerted effort on my part. It sounds crazy to you more normal people out there, but for me it really is a serious problem, that I hope my new friends will help me solve and be patient while I sort it all out.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Yet another Ripper candidate

A recent book about a South African pimp and career criminal points the finger at this notorious con man and batterer of women as Jack the Ripper. The author only devotes one chapter to his theory, having only drawn the connection toward the end of his research. The suspect in question had a lifelong hatred of women, was a Polish Jew (like fellow Ripper suspect Aaron Kosminski) and can be traced to England at the time of the Whitechapel murders. The author points to this and other coincidences to urge criminal historians to consider this man as a possible suspect. We'll probably never know who Jack the Ripper was, and this author does not make a definitive statement like Patricia Cornwall in her presumptuously titled book Jack the Ripper: Case Closed, where she uses mitochondrial evidence and hearsay to finger English painter Walter Sickert, a theory that has been laughed off by most criminologists.
The theory that the Ripper was a Jew originally stemmed from the influx of Eastern European Jewish immigrants in the East End of London at the time of the murders. Combining the natural animosity toward the new immigrant population with long-festering English anti-Semitism, the Jews, as has been common through history, became a ready-made scapegoat. But this, as former FBI profiler John Douglas relates in The Cases That Haunt Us, echoed by other criminologists, could be a case of scapegoating that could contain a shred of truth. The Ripper's evisceration of his victims' bodies was similar to the work of a butcher, many of whom in the East End at the time were Jewish. A man known in the neighborhood as "Leather Apron" was reportedly seen at some of the crime scenes, and was described as "ethnic," an English code word at that time for Jewish. Whether this latest candidate is taken seriously like Kosminsky, or shrugged off like Sickert and the even more ludicrous theory that the Ripper was a member of the British Royal Family, remains to be seen.
On a different topic, Don Imus is suing CBS for wrongful termination, citing a line in his contract that urged him to be irreverent and offensive along with the fact that a CBS producer could have cut him off at any time while he was making his racist remarks, but didn't. I read an online editorial that compared Imus to "Rooster Cogburn reading from The Turner Diaries." If that's the case, I likely wouldn't be a fan, but I still don't think he deserved to be fired. For those who don't know, The Turner Diaries is a badly written, often banned tome exulting racism, guns and anti-government terrorism, and was reportedly a favorite of Timothy McVeigh. I started reading it once, out of curiosity, but couldn't get through it. Not because of its ideology, sometimes a fascist point of view can be morbidly fascinating, but because the protagonist was dull and the story didn't go anywhere. That doesn't mean the book should be banned, any more than Don Imus should have been fired for making an admittedly racially insensitive but hardly dangerous remark. It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from John Stuart Mill, a champion of free speech (he's also a favorite of mine for being an early supporter of women's rights): "Silencing the expression of an opinion is...robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, which is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Time for self-examination

I've been thinking lately about where I am in my life, and what I still have left to work on in myself. My biggest problem has always been knowing how to act around other people. Because of this, I often feel like I haven't lived as much as other people my age. I don't have any stories about crazy things I did with my friends in high school, because I didn't really have any friends in high school. I don't even have that many bad relationship stories, except for one, and even that wasn't really a relationship. I know a lot, but almost all of it is from books. I heard the term "educated virgin" in a song once, and that's exactly what I am. I knew the basic facts and had heard anecdotes about life experiences like love and sex long before I ever experienced them for myself. Since I turned 21, I've tried to make up for my lack of life experience by throwing myself into clubs, casual sex and meeting new acquaintances through old ones. Even with people in my life that could now almost be considered friends, I still don't feel like I can call or email any of them to ask for advice or even to hang out (a lot of people I've met at the club live in Virginia anyway). Even after finding a writing group, we've stopped meeting, and I haven't seen the group of writers that could become compatible friends in weeks.
After a lot of thinking, and a conversation with a friend, I know that my problem is that I'm afraid to take risks, to put myself out there. I can in a superficial sense, going to a club and briefly talking to someone, but I still can't get below that surface to find a true friend. So I took one step, however small: I emailed the members of my writing group to arrange a meeting. To most people, this would be nothing, even standard behavior, but to me its huge, taking the first step without waiting for someone else to approach me.
What I need to do now is really think about what I want out of life, now that I've got my "living experience" out of the way. Through my times at Bound and Entre Nous, and going to college in Boston, I've seen what exciting things life has to offer, but what elements of it do I really want? I probably won't be going out this weekend, because I have so much thinking and self-analysis to do. What is it about the one or two guys I just can't get over that makes me crazy? How do I go about finding friends who are compatible with me and don't make me wonder why everyone in the world is so stupid, the impression I get from most of the people I've met in my life. And most of all, what am I so afraid of?

Monday, April 23, 2007

More on Virginia Tech

I remember one thing about Cho's message. He was 23 years old, but in his video he sounded like a self-pitying adolescent. In A Criminal History of Mankind, Colin Wilson wrote that criminal behavior is essentially childishness: "A criminal is an adult who continues to behave like a child." When I was in middle school and high school, I was relentlessly teased, and I occasionally had thoughts about blowing my classmates' brains out, but I never did. And by the time I hit college, even though I still sometimes felt like I didn't fit in, I had grown out of my homicidal fantasies. The point is, when was Cho planning on growing up? I guess never.
While news wags can go on and on about gun control, supposed "warning signs" and the problems of bullying, this was not a common incident. Kids are bullied all over the country, and it is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with as appropriate, and very few of them end up acting out on a level even close to Cho's massacre. Criminal behavior is a lot like the English language; for every rule, there are several exceptions, and the structure is all but incomprehensible to an outsider without a lot of study and effort.
Onto those who are complaining about oversaturation in the media, and that Cho got exactly what he wanted by being made national news. The press' fascination and fixation with the lowest of society and human behavior has existed as long as the press. Some historians believe that the reason Jack the Ripper has become as notorious as he did is because his crimes coincided with the rise of mass literacy, giving people of all classes the chance to read the gory story. Humans will always have a twisted fascination with the monsters among us: the dual lure and fear of the unknown. Back when public hangings were standard practice, the noose was often cut into pieces after the criminal was dead and sold off to the eager crowd. This is a reality of human behavior, and it's not going to go away. Even if NBC News had chosen not to air Cho's video, with the Internet and resourceful curious people, it probably would have made it out to the public anyway. Technology may change, but the race, in this respect, won't.
On a completely different topic, Boris Yeltsin, former Russian president, supporter of American-style capitalism and world-famous drunk, has died. Finally, a Russian political death that Putin and his league of evil can't take credit for.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Virginia Tech gunman manifesto

Nothing in Cho's "message" to NBC News dissuades me from my initial impression that he was the stereotype of the mass murderer. It's all there: a rough early childhood (he grew up poor with his family in South Korea until they moved to Northern Virginia in search of a better life), a hatred toward the world for unspecified "wrongs" they committed against him, a delusion of grandeur (he compares himself to Jesus Christ) and the images of him putting a gun to his head. This was a deeply disturbed young man bent on destroying himself and whoever was in his path. It's not clear yet whether or not he had specific targets in his rampage. But since he seemed to see all people around him as cruel to him, it's likely that he just wanted to take as many people as he could down with him.
As for whether he could have been stopped, with warning signs such as his blood-drenched writings and threatening e-mails to female classmates, and concerns from acquaintances that he was suicidal, I doubt it. The school could have taken more drastic disciplinary action, even kicked him out of the school, but I think all that would have done was fuel his rage further. There are too many stories of men fired from jobs who come back with guns. Cho had a plan, which he worked on well in advance of April 16, and that plan was a dramatic suicide including the deaths of others. If it hadn't been Virginia Tech, he would have lashed out somewhere else, or in another way. Unless he was in prison, I don't think he could have been stopped. And what is it about hindsight being 20/20? Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine killers (who Cho mentions as "martyrs" in his message), supposedly left all kinds of warning signs that were revealed after the fact. Cho was clearly disturbed, but no one could have predicted that he would have lashed out quite like this.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech shooter identified

Anyone who knows me or regularly reads my blog probably knew that I was going to write about this story. Call me insensitive, but I'm not particularly interested in the grief of the students, the poor security reaction after the first leg of the rampage or, least of all, "President" Bush's reaction, who I'm sure is thankful for an opportunity to show how compassionate he is while continuing to send troops to die in an unnecessary and futile war effort. What I'm interested in is the shooter, his mindset and what set him off. Even now that he has been identified as a student from South Korea, because he was a loner and died during his rampage, we still don't know much about him.
Witnesses also said the shooter looked "determined" and "calm." This was a man who had made up his mind to take his own life and those of others. He had a plan to go out in a hail of gunfire and corpses. Without knowing anything about him, I can't say what set him off (although there are reports that it was an argument with a girlfriend), but the shooting itself followed the classic template set by Charles Whitman (the Texas bell tower shooter, whose spree immediately came to my mind after hearing about Virginia Tech), from the well-prepared stock of ammunition (Whitman, an Eagle Scout, was always prepared) to the shooter turning the gun on himself or shot by law enforcement. And the shooter was an angry loner. As is often the case in this type of crime, the shooter feels the world has wronged him in some way and, with his unstable mind shaken by a troublesome event, like a fight with a girlfriend, it triggers (probably the wrong choice of words here) the rage he feels and sets him off to correct the burdens he feels the world has inflicted on him. And yes, I will be following this story, waiting for more details about the killer to figure out what his trigger could have been.
If I was the paranoid type, I'd think that the press has been saturated with this story to distract from the continuing death toll in the President's dead-end war in Iraq. Same goes with the Don Imus controversy. Again, I run the risk of being called insensitive, and being unqualified to comment because I'm not black, but I fail to see what the big deal is. Don Imus, who is in a field where the participants are practically required to out-outrage each other, probably made the comment solely because it was politically incorrect, and wanted attention. I can't say that for sure, knowing next to nothing about Imus or his radio show. He may have thought that by making a slightly offensive comment, then issuing a simple apology, he could use the controversy to gain a wider audience. It's worked before. But with professional race-baiters Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton hot on his trail, Imus was fired, unjustly in my opinion. Rappers frequently say things that are far more offensive than Imus' "nappy-headed hos" comment. Don Imus probably shouldn't have said what he said, but he never deserved to get fired. Jesse Jackson, as predicted, was on the scene, still showing indignation at a perceived offense that is hypocritical for someone who once called New York City "Hymietown." And Al Sharpton, who takes him seriously at this point? He and other prominent black activists once rallied alongside alleged rape victim Tawana Brawley, who it turned out was making up the whole story. Even from the beginning, there were serious doubts about Brawley's account of her "rape," as former FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood says in his book The Evil That Men Do. But that didn't stop Sharpton and his cohorts from trumping up the story in the press as a testament to the racism in America. Yes, racism still exists in this country, but with the careers and lives of two innocent men all but destroyed by Brawley and her "advisers," this false accusation helped no one.
Moving from the public sphere to my personal life, I had a great weekend. Bound was fun, but could have been better. The awesome bands, like Inertia and Armageddon Dildos, deserved a far bigger crowd than what was there that night. Where is everyone? Again, if I was the paranoid type, I'd think that there was a widespread conspiracy in DC against the goth/fetish community keeping potential patrons from Bound and other clubs in the area. How else to account for the sparse attendance at what should have been one of the biggest Bound events of the year? On a happier note, Todd's birthday bash at Entre Nous on Saturday was a great time for all, especially the guest of honor. Happy Birthday Todd, from all of us in the DC pary underground.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Forced socializing

I had to go to the dentist today. I know everyone hates the dentist, but the questions about what I do and where I went to school were hardly necessary, especially from someone I only see because I absolutely have to, someone whose job it is to jam foreign metal objects into my mouth, and someone who I know really doesn't care about my answers. For most rational people, the fact that I had a very limited response to his inane questions would have been a clue that I wasn't interested in conversation, but this guy seemed to take it as a challenge. People have been doing that to me all my life, trying to draw me out. And unless I see that they're sincerely trying to get to know me because they like me as a person, and not just attempting to open my closed exterior, it's never worked. I'm not suddenly going to turn into a chatterbox just because you ask me a few questions if I have no interest in talking to you. I don't want my dentist to be my friend. I just want them to do their job and leave me alone. I'm only there out of necessity, and I hate it, and the idle chatter does nothing but heighten my resentment, which makes me even more uncomfortable. And I have to go back next week to have a cavity filled. Call me pessimistic, but I doubt that this overly friendly dentist will have learned anything from his previous failed attempts at small talk. Who actually likes being asked personal questions while they're being probed by sharp metal objects?
Now that I've vented about that evil necessity known as the dentist, I can't wait for Bound this Friday. Horror movie night on Friday the 13th. Should be a good one. There are some great bands playing, and I finally get to see DJ Medic in action, since I missed him the last time he came to Bound. You'll probably see me on the dance floor or screaming while bent over or chained and getting a good beating. On Saturday I'll be at Entre Nous to wish Todd a happy birthday. This weekend's events will be the perfect thing to get the taste of intrusive probing out of my mouth.