All posts by Michael Paul Gonzalez

Y’know…

I just got to thinking, I haven’t made any movie/book/album recommendations lately.

And I know you live and die for them.

So I say to you, “I’m rockin’ on Steve Burns.” Yeah, THAT Steve Burns. Blue’s Clues Steve Burns. I think a writer’s best friend could be Steve’s fantastic “songs for dustmites” followed by the Flaming Lips’ “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”. Simply amazing. Although it would have been quite cool to hear Blue give a “Bah-BAHR!!!” in the background. Plus, Steve Burns looks EXACTLY like my friend Joe Capps. Or does Joe look like Steve? Perhaps I’ll find photos of the two to post here for comparison…

Anyway, Is there a word for this kind of music? It’s not Emo. It’s not alt.rock, but Lordy I miss my alt.rock. And I miss my rock, too. Perhaps Velvet Revolver could change all of this…

Read:

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson – Fun, Murder, Murder, fun and more Murder at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The fair that introduced America to Shredded Wheat, Pabst Blue Ribbon, the Ferris Wheel, and the vicious serial killer.

Join Me! by Danny Wallace — READ IT! JOIN DANNY! Because as the song says, “You gotta join…join Danny!” He’s British! He’s hilarious! He’s started a cult that nobody would be ashamed to join! (I’m having my passport photo taken this weekend!) You’ll see– it’s easy, it’s fun, it’s an idea I wish I would have thought of… maybe I can be vice-general of the California branch of the Karma Army. Here, look at this and understand. JOIN DANNY! – It’s not a cult, it’s a collective!

Politics and monkeys…

This post is a bit lazy on my part, but that’s okay, because it’s funny stuff. Quotes about our mighty commander in chief, his cronies, etc, from late-night…

Which makes me wish Conan O’Brien would run for president.

“Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had a press conference at the Pentagon.

If you listen to him speak, it really makes you wonder what the f**k he’s

thinking. [Shows clip of Rumsfeld threatening to hold Syria and Iran

accountable for hostile acts against the U.S.] Do you see what he just did

there? We’re in the middle of a war, and he’s starting another war. We’re

already fighting Iraq and he’s like, ‘Syria, you want a piece?’ …There is

nothing like a cantankerous old man who takes a hey-you-kids-get-off-my-lawn

approach to foreign policy. The guy’s literally just like drunk swinging a

broken bottle at people. ‘Hey Netherlands, you looking at me?'” –Jon Stewart

“President Bush delivered a commencement speech at a university in

Wisconsin. A very inspirational speech. Apparently Bush told the students,

‘You can do anything in life if your parents work hard enough.'” –Conan

O’Brien

“President Bush’s campaign is now attacking John Kerry for throwing away

some of his medals to protest the Vietnam War. Bush did not have any medals

to throw away, but in his defense he did have all his services records

thrown out.” –Jay Leno

“We ought to thank President Bush. He made it a lot easier for people to do

taxes this year. No job, no income tax this year.” –Jay Leno

“President Bush earned $400,000 for his job as president last year. That’s

not really that much for being president when you think about it. But

President Bush, he doesn’t do it for the money, he does it for the eight

months of vacation every year.” –Jay Leno

“In his press conference last night, President Bush said he could not

remember a single mistake he had made in the last two years. The president’s

exact quote was: ‘I ain’t make none mistakes ever.'” –Conan O’Brien

“In response to a request by the 9/11 commission the White House agreed to

declassify the president’s daily intelligence briefing from August 6th

titled ‘Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.’ The

commission also wants to see the August 20th briefing, ‘No Seriously Bin

Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States’ and also from August

26th, ‘Mr. President, Please Put Down the Game Boy, Bin Laden Determined to

Attack Inside the United States.'” –Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend

Update””

Some sad news, President Bush’s lapdog passed away. Gee, I didn’t even know

Tony Blair was sick?” –Jay Leno

And jokewriters were worried when Clinton left office…

Reagan once talked about the need to eliminate the “Evil Empire”. And Egg Shen once said, “China is here, Mr. Burton.” To which Jack Burton replied, “China is here? What the hell does that mean?” My point is, Big Trouble in Little China was a good movie. And someday, I’d like to write the sequel.

Because when the wind’s howlin’ and the rain’s coming down in sheets, and you think the world’s coming to an end, ol’ Jack Burton just looks that storm in the eye and says ‘Give it your best shot pal. I can take it.’

Oh, I know, another blog…

But I can’t help it. The more I read about the reaction of conservatives to the Iraqi prison torture, the angrier I get. These seem to be the most frequent “comeback” gems from the right:

1. Where was the outrage when our guys got killed?

2. Islam is evil

3. Sure it was bad, but we do more for their countries than their leaders do.

4. Muslims are bad.

5. The media is blowing this out of proportion and giving ammunition to Anti-American forces.

Where to begin…

1. I am outraged at the murder of American civilians. I was (and still am) outraged at the lies of Clinton. I am outraged he stood by and basically did nothing when the USS Cole was attacked. I am outraged that President Bush the first, Ronald Reagan, Cheney, Georgey Jr. etc CREATED the Taliban, armed Saddam Hussein, removed democratically elected (but administration unfriendly) leaders and replaced them with cruel despots and basically stuck us in the muckhole we’re in. However, NONE of that gives us the right to act like hooligans. We have to set the example. When you’re at the top of the mountain, you can either strut around and throw rocks at those coming up, or you can offer them encouragement and show them how to climb higher.

2. Do not equate fear of another culture with that culture being evil.

3. We have to be better. Resting on your laurels is not an option.

4. So is Pat Robertson.

5. Anyone can claim media bias, either right or left. But what are you going to tell me, these photos are taken out of context?

Yeesh.

You know, conservatives got angry with what Bill Clinton did in the oval office (me too). So why are they tolerating dick and Bush in the office now? It ain’t right.

Okay, in the interest of being “fair and balanced” with my last post:

Clarification from Rush:

“Now, don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting that the torture is okay, because I don’t think it is. I’m not suggesting it’s not a big deal. I’m not suggesting anything of the sort. I’m trying to say we are in a war, and there are bad guys from our perspective, and they are it, and there are good guys from our perspective, and we are it; and amongst both groups you’ve got some factions who don’t qualify. There are probably some good people in the bad guys and some rotten apples in the good guys, and these people that did this so-called torture may in fact be the rotten apples of the good guy group. But it’s like I said: it doesn’t taint the whole military effort and it doesn’t taint us, but the world is joining in now trying to taint us as a nation, as a people, and as a culture by virtue of these pictures on the basis that we have humiliated these people. What is hijacking our own airplanes and flying them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? How humiliating is it to blow up American civilians in a convoy and have their charred bodies dragged from the car and dragged through it streets? There seems to be no sensitivity, concern or outrage for any of this anywhere in the world. So pardon me if my patience is a little short. Again, just so nobody misunderstands, I am not condoning it, supporting it, encouraging it, and suggesting that more of it happen. I’m just saying that this overreaction has gone way, way, way too far, and I’m suspicious of it. I think the overreaction is politically inspired and motivated, and has an objective, which is to undercut our effort. I think people who are overreacting to this are doing so in an effort to harm our ability to prevail here, and I’ll be blunt about it, the reason people want to harm our ability to prevail is because they think somehow it will resound negatively on Bush at the polls.”

All well and good, BUT:

When you are the “guardians of the free world”, (and we should strive to be- nobody else has our money, means, and power, and all us Spidey fans know what Uncle Ben says about great power…), you have to hold yourself to a higher standard. It is quite possible to maintain outrage over atrocities done to Americans while at the same time vilifying those soldiers who would engage in the same practices.

We knew this wouldn’t be a popular war. So why weren’t precautions taken? Why are we setting ourselves up for more war, terrorism, etc. in the future?

Reason #7,345,961 to remove conservatives from positions of power. Here he is, El Rushbo, that supreme bastion of “compassionate conservatism”, Rush Limbaugh, weighing in on the torture of Iraqi prisoners by US Soldiers:

“This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation! And we’re going to ruin people’s lives over it? And we’re going to hamper our military effort? And then we’re going to really hammer ‘em because they had a good time?!

You know, these people are being fired at everyday – I’m talking about the people having a good time.

You ever hear of emotional release?

You ever hear of need to blow some steam off?

These people are the enemy!”

I think people who have lost jobs since Bush took office should visit Rush and “blow some steam off” with the “good time” device of “military attack dogs” and “sodomy with chemical light sticks”.

But that’s just the opinion of a bleeding heart.

I am a strong supporter of the US military, when their actions are justified (ie- Afghanistan. Remember Afghanistan? That country where terrorists actually live and breed and seek to destroy us? Oh yeah…). My father served 20 years in the military. I couldn’t be prouder of him for his service to our country.

This kind of action brings disgrace to the dedication and service of all those who have served the United States honorably. And even better, it gives the Arab world more to hate than “our freedom”, which is NOT why we were attacked in the first place.

GARR. This blog ain’t big enough to contain my fury.

Merrily we roll along…

Kill Bill Vol. 2.

What can I say? An amazingly good movie, especially when viewed in light of the first volume. Volume 2, however, is that rarest of things: a sequel that stands on its own merits. You don’t need to see Volume 1 to follow what’s happening, but if you have seen Volume 1, then all of the violence, revenge, brutality, etc is so much better. Which is an odd thing to say about violence, revenge, and brutality. But Tarantino does an amazing job of combining B-movie plot values with deeply grounded and motivated characters. Woo!

If there is one thing I will miss about LA on the eventual day of my departure, it is the rowdy opening weekend movie crowds. This town lives for movies, and opening weekend of a blockbuster is literally the equivalent of going to see a boxing match. It’s loud, raucous, people cheering, booing, shouting obscenities… and that’s just the previews. When the movie pays off, as it did here, the experience is amazing. I can’t wait for Spider-Man 2. It should be a riot.

Not much else new here… the WPW website is plugging along, and should be up soon.

Keep your eyes open. I’m hoping to get a couple more short pieces up in the writing section, maybe put a new chapter of the books out there, although they are a pain to upload…

Looking forward to a good weekend by the beach where I can relax…

Or something…

PS:

There is interesting research to be done on Mel Gibson and the Catholic church. Not to sound obsessed, and it’s certainly nothing I want to dedicate my blog to…

But, great movie that it is, Mel’s got issues. He’s forming his own schismatic Catholic Church. Latin masses! Small congregations! Ultra-conservatism (says the media)! Right here in Malibu! I should go investigate…

Fun things to do searches on:

Mel Gibson and Catholic Church

Fortean phenomena

CANNETO DI CARONIA, Italy (is it real? Certain small media conglomerates ie-CNN and MSN – reported it as fact…)

bushisms.com (I don’t know whether to laugh or cry… But perhaps in a free-election society, the people get the leader they deserve…)

engrish.com (it’s only slightly less PC than the previous site, and that’s only because they have slightly less knowledge of the English language than Georgey. They get more points for trying. And they like monkeys.)

Quote of the day:

KARL ROVE, Bush’s long-time political guru and White House advisor: “As people do better, they start voting like Republicans… …unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.”

I always wonder how someone becomes a “blog of note” on Blogger.com. I can’t even make the list of ten most recently published blogs. I always try, just to see myself on the list… but no. Tragedy, I tell you. I’m finishing up a play that I should have finished a long time ago, and getting ready to assault agents etc. with my monkey goodness. They will eat of it and be pleased.

If you read that in a Chuck Heston-y voice, it’s a lot funnier. Well, marginally funnier.

Ahem.

Anyway,

Things are looking up around here. The weather’s getting warmer, my friends are moving nearer, and my fiancee gets to visit me soon! I’m expanding my horizons, renewing my faith, buying new pants, and generally enjoying life (in the three spare minutes a week I get).

God willing, this summer will kick off some huge changes around here… I won’t say too much, but I’ll publish later depending on my success or failure. Or should I say lack of success? I’ll save “Failure” for when I’m bitter, 80 years old, walking around and telling the kids how good they’ve got it and they just don’t realize… wait. I do that now. Except I’m not 80.

You kids have no idea how good you’ve got it…

That’s right, I’m talking to you.