Saturday, August 16, 2003

Sizing Up the Opposition - Mary Carey

On Thursday, I was at my health club, flipping through Sacramento News & Review, when I noticed that Mary Carey, the porn star candidate for California Governor, was going to be performing this week at Centerfolds, in Rancho Cordova, just outside Sacramento. I excitedly pointed this out to Tessie, my aerobics instructor, who grimaced and changed the subject (different tastes, I guess). Anyway, I figured that if Ariana Huffington and Peter Camejo can campaign together, Mary and myself could campaign together, on a beauty and brains platform (I tried to ignore the little voice in my head that said there was no incentive for her to join forces with me, and that my motives for even thinking about such an alliance were mixed, to say the least). Nevertheless, throwing caution to the winds, off I went, to catch the 11:30 p.m. Friday evening show at Centerfolds.

I paid the $19 cover charge (which covered all drinks) and entered the club. Many men, and a few women, sat at numerous tables scattered about two stages. Many pretty women strolled around in various, provocative states of undress. Some of the men seemed to be well known to the women, and were quickly dragged off to locations unknown. A pretty blonde waitress asked me what I wanted to drink, and I was surprised to learn the club is non-alcoholic. I got a Diet Coke and paid for it: since the drink was already paid for, she soon began buzzing around with replacement drinks every few minutes (my general, if limited, experience in these establishments is that if you tip liberally and indiscriminately, you will have a lot better time than if you try to be parsimonious).

Then the show started! Mary Carey came out in an orange jumpsuit, which was quickly doffed to reveal something much skimpier. Then she began dancing. Her dance was energetic enough, but was compromised by the slippery floor under her platform shoes, and the frequent stops to jam the faces of appreciative patrons between her ample breasts. When she lay down on her back and her legs traced opposing arcs to the floor, her platform shoes made distinctive clicking noises when they simultaneously touched down.

The announcer stated that the most enthusiastic fan shouting 'Mary Carey for Governor!' would get a free videotape of Mary Carey. Under most circumstances, I'd be that most enthusiastic patron, but given my own candidacy, I had a hopeless conflict of interest. Attention focused stage right, where a rather lackluster group of men tried to get her attention. Mary Carey indicated by semaphore that she wanted more enthusiasm, and started doing jumping jacks as a suggestion. One little guy in a white shirt starting doing jumping jacks with vigor, and to me it looked like the contest was over. But Mary Carey was not satisfied, and she indicated that she was going to fling the VHS tape into audience as if it were a garter at a wedding. She lost her grip with the first toss, and the tape landed flat on the stage. The second toss went better, but she brained three guys with the spinning tape before it finally came to a stop - the enthusiastic little guy lost out.

Then attention turned to a fellow named (appropriately enough) John, who was made to lie prostrate on stage, while Mary Carey used a rubber device and an unknown fluid to simulate several sex acts. About this time, I started talking to the pretty blonde waitress. I indicated that I was Mary Carey's rival - another candidate for governor. The waitress smiled and said she was for Schwarzenegger herself. I replied, rather defensively, "well, only if you're into that sort of guy." She asked if I was a politician, and I said no: science instead, specifically meteorology. Then she said: "I think this whole governor's race is a joke!" I started to argue with her, but given the new round of hooting and hollering stageside, I had to confess she had a point - I said, "well, it COULD be!"

I noticed several strange things about the club - it seemed to be violating an important rule of physics, namely the Conservation of Men and Women. Several times, parades of nubile women came down from the stage, and appeared to vanish into the house. I wondered if men were getting dragged off for lap dances, but there seemed to be just as many men in the seats as before, but still, the women were gone. I eventually concluded I just wasn't paying enough attention to understand what was going on in the house, distracted as I was by the action on stage, the pretty blonde waitress, the loud music, and my numerous Diet Cokes. The waitress let me know I could meet Mary Carey after her performance in the VIP lounge, but fearing the likelihood of making unintended contributions to the Mary Carey for Governor campaign, and the certainty that her unbelievably-large platform would overshadow my much-more-modest springboard, I demurred. So, I left without approaching the candidate, after spending only $25 in 35 minutes ($19 for the cover charge, and $6 for drinks - still, cheaper than a casino!)

Something about the experience suggests to me that Mary Carey is not a serious candidate for governor. Nevertheless, I look forward to her upcoming gubernatorial debate with mall security guard Gary Coleman on E!

Friday, August 15, 2003

Peter Pan This Weekend!

DMTC's youth workshop Cast 1 is presenting Peter Pan this weekend. Next weekend, Cast 2 performs. See both shows! Here is my favorite Peter Pan link. When my friend Carrie saw this she said:

"I do NOT believe. And I will not even go there about the green outfit."

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Charlie of 666 - A Memoir of World War II

Finally finished this strong memoir of an artilleryman, Corporal Nathaniel Blumberg, in Charlie Battery, 666th Field Artillery Battalion. My father was in Baker Battery, so the memoir has a special place in my heart.

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six (The Revelation of Saint John the Divine, Chapter 13:18).

Several points seemed to stand out in my mind:

1.) The pre-war experiences he described at Utah State University, Logan, seemed very remote from the distance of more than half a century. I found that puzzling, because I once worked a year at University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and I've visited the campus at Logan, so there should have been some familiarity of place, if nothing else, but it just didn't seem to be there. I can only conclude that pre-and post-war college experiences - for everyone - were of quite different natures: the war changed everything, of course. And also, probably even in his own mind, the Logan years probably seem dreamlike and distant, given the European experience.

2.) Blumberg's descriptions about the Battle of the Bulge helped clarify impressions I had received as a child listening to my father's stories. I had been under the impression, from childhood, that my father had actually been trapped behind enemy lines, in hostile country, for nearly a week, but apparently that wasn't the case. Blumberg and my father had been thrust near the forefront of battle, with confused territories of control causing great apprehension, but never completely cut off from American control.

3.) Reading Blumberg's book, I now understand why my father ended up in Salzburg, Austria. It always seemed rather irrational that my father ended up there, so far from Belgium (but then no one ever said the U.S. military was necessarily rational). He described the great beauty of the place, and an adventure trying to learn to ski (hmmm.... in summer 1945? - maybe THAT was the problem), that made him swear off the slopes for the rest of his life.

4.) It was interesting reading Blumberg's reactions (and the reactions of the other soldiers) to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Myself, I co-wrote a letter of complaint to the Smithsonian Museum in 1995, complaining of revisionist, ahistorical efforts to portray the atomic bombings as exercises in racism, etc.

5.) Blumberg's epilogue, which describes coming to terms with forgiveness for the German soldiers who were once his bitterest enemies, was very moving.

I remember, as an 8-year-old child in 1964, being crestfallen because I finally learned that, despite popular TV shows like 'Combat', the U.S. was no longer at war with Germany. I'm sure Blumberg was relieved, however, that the war ended considerably sooner than that.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Dick Morris Bumbles Again

Morris is wrong: the problem with traditional newspapers and TV news isn't bias - people can usually read past and see through bias. The problem is lack of appropriate information. Despite the pretty pictures, what we get on TV, and often the papers too, lacks context so thoroughly as to approach meaninglessness. As an example, the looting of the Iraqi national museum was not as bad as first feared, but the national archives DID burn down, something nearly everyone fails to mention. Is that oversight an example of bias, or stupidity, or just ignorance? People get tired of trying to sort that out - their reaction is that it's time to change the channel, recycle the paper, and play with the dog.

The Tape Clarifies Little Yet

How many people work in the No. 10 Press Office?

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Great Stuff on CSPAN-2

Defeating Militarism and the Politics of Fear. Watch it if you can! William Rivers Pitt gives one tub-thumping, stem-winding, barn-burning speech opposed to the war in Iraq.
For Those of You Who Love New Mexico

Tonight on KDVS radio from Davis, the funniest hour-long radio show ever (at least for those of us who grew up in New Mexico) was aired: Mars vs. New Mexico. The show is available (at least for the moment) in the schedule box for the Mick Mucus Radio Show, Tuesday evening, 6:00-7:00 p.m, at KDVS (please note there are a few announcements to start the show off first). Interestingly enough, the show was produced by KUNM, at UNM, in Albuquerque, and so if this link fails, it might be available there. In any event, for sheer weirdness, I think only the California Governor's recall race can come close to competing.

Yeah, that was really some impressive work. And the jokes were very specific to the university community. The biggest groans from the audience came when they announced that the Martians had destroyed the Frontier Restaurant (a very popular place just off-campus). I noticed they missed one opportunity. Several times they started singing the 80's hit '867-5309'. The telephone prefix '867' is, of course, specific to Bernalillo, NM, just outside Albuquerque, and the idea of sending Sullen and Mutter to Bernalillo to look for aliens (of whom there are probably many, just not outer space aliens) is just too rich.

Cali, Cali

Cute cartoons about the recall!

Monday, August 11, 2003

Background on Thunder Valley

United Auburn Indian Community, and some history regarding the development of the Thunder Valley casino.

Sunday, August 10, 2003