Oooh, I hate the establishment; what a surprise... I did myself a grave disservice on Monday & read Joe Klein's column in the latest time. It was an apologia for Joseph Biden (D - Del.), as the only "serious" candidate in the Democratic primary field, & the one most versed in foreign affairs (a skill-set that is desperately needed in the wake of G-Dub's ham-handed diplomacy & warring). I could only scoff.

To say that Biden is the most experienced diplomatic hand in the race, because he's been chair at various moments -- depending on upper-chamber majority -- of the Foreign Relations Committee begs credulity. Where was Ol' Joe when the Iraq resolution was up for votes? Where was his knowledge-base to vet the NIE & demonstrace with alacrity its hyperbole? I don't recall it being anywhere.

Instead, Joe happens to be an East Coast quasi-liberal of similar age (&, prolly, upbringing) to Klein, & that, coupled with Biden's three decade run in the world's most illustrious debating society nets him Klein's de facto (for the week, anyway) endorsement. All the while, Klein glosses over Bill Richardson's record as a diplomatic hand in the U.S. House, service as U.N. ambassador under Clinton (plus, sec'y at DOE, with its attendent interest in arms proliferation), & background as envoy to North Korea & Sudan. Clearly, Richardson has at least Biden's theoretic expertise, & much more practical expertise. But, he's a governor, & Clinton administration veteran (never forget Joe Klein as the anon author of Primary Colours, a fact about which he prevaricated for well past his cloaked shelf-life), & from NEW MEXICO (how close is that to the Hamptons, now?). Of course Klein would dismiss Richardson without any consideration at all.

I doubt, then, that I shall be reading another of Klein's immoderate moderate musings & shilling for the status quo. Of course, I won't further fault him for shame. That sales pitch of "revolution" but actual production in the same mediocre corporatist-fronting-with-a-dollop-of-protectionism-(industry-dependent)-to-the-unions has made Klein rich. He's gotten paid, which is the (only) important thing... Why does anyone need to get paid, then?

#### NTAC.


In stitches... Eight years on, this couplet remains the funniest and wittiest that I have heard. & to think, it appeared on record BEFORE Columbine, BEFORE anybody even knew who he was to blame him, BEFORE the shooters (ICP fans, so, really, they would have loathed Mr Mathers) were making YouTube-ready (were YouTube to have existed) apologies (classic sense) for their violence.

To wit: I try to keep it positive, play it cool/ Shoot up the playground, & tell the kids to stay in school.

Honestly, nothing I have heard, even from those as adept at musical wordplay as Morrissey or Beck (mostly, on Midnite Vultures) or Diamond Dave or Kool Keith, has topped this.

(In point of fact, of course, several other lines on the same album as the above might be better, but given the cultural context -- lack thereof, really, since it hadn't happened by the time the song was recorded -- it is my favourite.)


Rallying cry... I was never an hesher, in the boarding sense (nor the metal sense, but that is beside this), but as I rounded my teens & neared twenty, acquaintances, moreso acquaintances of acquaintances, were. They would take over a parking-lot, late, & "thrash". Then, they'd retire to their labyrinthine cocoons & listen to Snapcase & read Big Brother. & thru them, I was exposed to the latter, & for a coupla years thereafter would skim the various skateboarding mags on the rack at the local bookseller, for comedic value.

It was late '00 or early '01, then, when I was at Book World in Ripon, Wisc. -- my college town -- & saw the cover of an issue of TransWorld. It bore the tag "Black Dudes... In Sweden!". Apparently, some pro skaters had done a series of demos in the Northland, among them a coupla Afro-Americans. Now, of course, there are many "black dudes" in Sweden, typically of west or central African origin, & the writers at the magazine must have known this. They also knew, though, that the thought of non-Nordic looking Swedes was not what people think of when thinking of crawling Stockholm. So, in a contemporarily ironic style, they had a cover tag -- Black Dudes... In Sweden.

Black Dudes... In Sweden!

& since seeing this, I have taken to saying "black dudes in Sweden" whenever I see a person in a particular community that "looks ouf of place". A rainbow (gay pride) flag flying from a pole on South 68th in West Allis, for example -- black dudes in Sweden. & so it goes....

"Black dudes" -- they're everywhere.


There at the end... Panda did not want to leave.
I was visiting, for the last time, as it would turn out, at Kate's on a Saturday when my father asked me to take the dog out. I acceded to the request. I have never minded walking the dog, regardless the temp. Oddly, though, Panda did not want to go out. I had noted her reticence to leave her mistress's side prior to this, too. I had sat on the left of the bed, opposite the home-health nurse, for fifteen or twenty minutes after getting in, & Panda was pacing around & under the bed, while deciding whether to make a roost at Kate's hip.

Of course, Panda did not -- explaining the necessity to walk her shortly -- but you develop a certain dread when you see an animal grow nervous & weary. I did, but I still wanted to get out for a walk, if for no other reason than to take my mind off the impending demise. The odd thing in the walk, though, was Panda chose to trace the block "backward" from what she would do usually when I would walk her. Rather than counterclockwise, approaching Newberry on the departure & Locust on the return, we went as does the clock.

In that decision, then, I was reminded of something. Nothing related -- directly -- to my stepmother, nor the disease that was ravaging her from the inside, but it still resonated with the moment. It was the song "Clockwise" by the Strike. I had not thought of that band in six months, and probably had not listened to it in a year, but as Panda & I turned the corner at Shepard, there it was. A song dissipated to just a moment when I was nineteen, pounding, chugging, back.

Shortly after, I got back to the house -- in probably ten minutes time (Panda made it a quick walk; she wanted to be home more than I) -- & I readied to leave, but not before stopping in the bedroom once more. The same lagging, but deep, diaphragmatic pushing, was there, but ever so slow; the force was going out. My stepmother had -- by my count -- seen & celebrated four Christmases since she had become aware of her plight, though this last was quite depressive in comparison to the three before, & she had visited or been visited by almost all of her significant (& due her geneaologic efforts, multiplicitous) relations, her countless friends from three decades of teaching, sailing, & hobbyism (bird-watching, bookclub), &, of course, her ever-present attendant, her dog.

When I left the house at mid-afternoon that Saturday, 4th February, then, my aunt had assumed the high-back chair where the nurse had previously sat, & Panda... Panda was nestled at Kate's hip, breathing with her, attentive to any final turn into the dark of the unknown. I almost cried, bawled, really, but I was able to hold back, content that Kate's vessel had proven as full as necessary.

& at that, I went forward. Always, forward. Time marches on, but as the melody that struck me instructs, so did, so will, I. Kate would not want anything but.


Colo Colo, I think that we need to change one letter... Found this story on Deadspin, & I was moved to pen a short lyric poem in the style of Wesley Willis. (This marks my second Gawker Media appearance bringing the Wesley.) As it goes, the band Machuca -- great name, by the way -- was playing in Santiago (de Chile) & dedicated a song to their footballer favourites, Universidad. Mistake, mistake, mistake...

Well, let Kiki-as-Wesley explain:

This band played a show at the Puerta Doble
About 600 people were at the show
The jam session was awesome
It whipped an alpaca's ass

Machuca, Machuca
Machuca, Machuca

The band dedicated a song to their football favourites
They were Universidad de Chile
This angered the rock crowd
The crowd stormed the stage like a puma
The crowd whipped the band's ass

Machuca, Machuca
Machuca, Machuca

After order was restored by the roadies
The band played the rest of the show
The band got down
They got down on that crowd like a masochist
It was a fantastic rock show

Machuca, Machuca
Machuca, Machuca

Rock over London
Rock on Chicago
Rally's: You Gotta Eat


Redaction... I knew that I would forget a film in compiling my top twenty, thus leaving a spot for an "undeserving" film. Fortunately, it happened at the twentieth spot. Thank you for smoking, which I found only mildly amusing, should not have been anywhere near even a top 35, let alone 20.

That said, I shall substitute You, me, & Dupree. Honestly, though, it should prolly bump several films, & be my twelfth or thirteenth pick. But for the sake of limiting my correction, just call it twenty, & be done with it.


'Why, Kiki!' Housekeeping... If you would like to see my picks for the best cinema of the aught-six, please direct your attention to the posting of 28th November '06. The 'top twenty' list posted to that date, since such is when I began composing it.

I apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

Also, please note, I am blogging -- hopefully, longer entries -- at Wordpress, now, as well. The title is Imi Pare Rau. Check it.