Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Fountain Of Couth


The commencement of the PK Mistress of Mayhem era, inspired and led by the glorious Kermopolis, is a fitting catalyst for today's topic:



THE FEMINIST MALE AND INTERNET BEAUTY(IES)(TM)


Well, I'm probably the only PK staff writer who considers himself a feminist(oh, how this has changed since I first drafted, and abandoned this post...), but let's get to the point:

During my Adolescent Psych Course this week (which is taught by Rhymes-with-Mary-Sari Locker, basically the Agony[in terms of the little death, anyway] Aunt for Maxim magazine--which is rather fitting, as you will see*) I was surfing the net to keep my brain from rusting over as she continued her quest to figure out how to work the wireless keyboard that she uses (it might as well be a cinderblock with keys) to file through the endless PowerPoint presentation which comprises the entirety of our course.** I was cruising Korean sites: Daum, Yahoo Korea, Naver, etc., when I came across a photo of a very attractive young athlete named Allison Stokke. Without a doubt, my first reaction was, "Wow. She's purty." Which was pretty much all I learned from the Korean website comments*** So I headed off to Wikipedia (which article no longer exists...) and the English news sites and that's when I acquired three bits of information that changed everything:

  1. She's 18 years old and a high school student.
  2. Her recent surge in popularity--reaching all the way over to the ROK--is the result of her photo being posted without her consent on the website With Leather (Speaking of adolescent psych--interesting title.) under the heading, POLE VAULTING IS SEXY, BARELY LEGAL by the blog's owner Matt Ufford. A knob who is actually clueless enough to snidely insult a 17 year-old [age when the video he references was filmed] for innocent sincerity. Well, that's if you consider a statement that her lack of attention to weak sarcasm is enough to repel a Matt-attack. WHAT a jackass. I rather predict a spurt of sincerity-training clinics in which women help each other actively simulate discomprehension of sarcasm in order to deter the advances of the fantasy football phlatulanx....
  3. She doesn't want the photo there, nor does she want the attention. (Surprise, surprise.)
Now, as far as I'm concerned, number 3 trumps all arguments. That opportunist gobshyte Matt Ufford can kiss our collective kimchi arse and he better prepare himself to have his "Hey, guyz, she's 18, ya know? All legal--nudge-nudge, wink-wink." slobberhetoric shoved right down his creepy little esophagus while we reach in there for his small intestine. And yes, we will be strangling him with it, thank you.

Bottom line: She's a young athlete who does want to be taken seriously as such and who does not want the kind of attention with which Matt-the-scuzzbag-Ufford is hankering to varnish her career.

But, ahhhh....the savvy reader then ponders: Is this not hypocritical? "Whither, Psychedlic Kimochi?" And the reader would be wise and welcomed to ask. Because if there is one thing for sure, whether it be right or whether it be Gordian Knottedly twatted, the High Evolutionary has an answer for every query...:

Yes folks, the brothers here at PK have been known to post a photo or two of a lovely lass, a mistress of mayhem(lower-case) or even a rapturously-smitten-with-your-current-journalist Korean songstress on occasion. However, as I see it, there are three major distinctions separating the Kimochi wheat from the jackass chaff:
  1. We keep it above the belt. All the women whose photos we have posted are well 18+. No real borderline cases either.****
  2. Every photo we post (this week's sultry shot of Megan Fox, z.B.) is of a woman who is in the business of looking good and looking good in that business. We aren't prowling high school track & field tourneys to dredge up snaps with which to titillate the Maxim's Minors masturbatory readership. We admire actors, singers and models whose looks are the medium through, and the means by, which they mystify us. Ms. Stokke wants to be known for her pole-vaulting; Miss Fox chose her pseudonym for a reason. (Actually, I have no evidence that her surname is pseudo, but that just means the universe knows what it's on about.)
  3. Our admiration lingers well on the light side of the force side of the yuk-yuk, satirical, self-effacing, isn't-it-ironic-that-we'll-never-get-within-peeping-into-an-exclusive-nightclub-entryway-distance-of-these-ladies, "shucky-darn and slop the chickens she's purty" line.

Basically, we're boys grown big who love to wax flummox at beautiful women.

Whereas Matt Ufford is scuzz-baggery bipedalized.*****

Now, I will leave it to PK's readers and our new resident muse (and master) to comment on these observations; to run my rant through the gauntlet of objective harmfulness and harmful objectification to vindicate me if I emerge free of the slimy stigmata branding that leathery scudge, or re-educate me if I am measured and weighed and found wanting of gallantry (Or harmless buffoonery. Tomaytoe/Tomahtoh).

But in my defense, I will excite you now with the revelation that I not only described this current event conundrum, the Psychedelic Kimochi custom and my intent to place yet another installment of that illustrious tradition in this very post in which I berate that douchebag Matt Ufford for his posting of Ms. Stokke's photo, and for his attaching to it so cretinous, so unskilled and so illiterate a caption that he may ever so soonly be recruited as one of Mitt Romney's speech writers (in the next 18 months, soonly)....but I also regaled several of my illustrious female feminist colleagues at the tour d'ivoire we all attend with a viewing of, and introduction to, this wondrous (yet humble) weblog and several distinct examples of the Kimochi tradition.******

And I am pleased, if not surprised, to report that the Aweinspiringly Intelligent Feminists actually enjoyed our site and shared the following comments on our Kimochi tradition:

AIF #1: "It's just kind of dumb."

AIF #2: "Well, you guys are idiots, but it's a lot different than the Stokke thing. You're all just dumb and treading water in a pond of adolescent foreclosure. That other guy went under and needs mouth to mouth and CPR. Which is too bad for him as no one is likely to weigh his life over their fear of his ochre-clouded lech breath." (She's taking the Locker class too.)

AIF #3: "It's fine. It's harmless. But don't talk to me again until I have the URL firmly blocked from my memory."

So, you can see, we clearly have the enthusiastic backing of our feminist sisters in the intelligentsia. Try to accomplish that, Matt. You pratt. (Too smug and pat...? Rats.)

In conclusion, I would like to assault our readers with two final observations:

In a sad overreaction to this clusterfest, the Wikipedia page for Allison Stokke has been removed. When I started this article (I am well-regarded as the promptest, as well as the most prolific PK penman) the page was still extant, and it had almost no information on it about the scandal. Now, it's goner than Verbal Kint. So, we have a young woman who may represent the USA in the Beijing Olympics but who cannot afford to have a Wikipedia page devoted to her for fear of getting caught in the wake of the lake of drool oozed into the tubes of the Internet. The sluice keeper on that flood of pathetica? A guy so uberly-uncouth and yet still somehow so enamored of his weak grasp of the written word that he follows the letter of the law, and not the spirit. Fully cognizant that Allison and her parents and all the enlightened people of the Earth want that photo taken down and him to offer an apology in the form of a parachuteless base jump off something really fucking high, the "Pole Vaulting is Sexy" post and its photo remain. What an utter jackass. A man exemplifying such jackassery as should only be rewarded with 10 rounds facing Uwe Boll.******* In fact, such jackassery could only be outdone by pursuing your dedicated journalist's clearly personal opinion which could never be seen as approximating a fact nor should ever be misconstrued as an attempt to sully the good name of Mr. Ufford. Just something your dedicated journalist would like to say to his face, like David to Goliath or Frasier Crane to Derek "At least I'm not a lecherous, ill-lettered git" Mann. That's all.

Well, I am sorry it's come to this Allison, and I and all the lads and lass at Psychedelic Kimchi wish you smashing success at Berkeley and in your quest for the Olympic gold. Knock 'em dead.

Oh, yeah. Second observation:

Ms. Stokke, you are going to get the same attention and offers as your Anna Kournikovas and your Nikki Gudexes and your Lokelani McMichaels and your Amanda Beards, especially after all this year's brouhaha. And if you ever decide to trod that path and do the amorous athlete modeling thing, PK will welcome your photos with open arms: because that would be your decision, your career, your choice.

But we rather hope not. We prefer you just be a pole-vaulter who flies over this cesspool of tastelessness on your rise to Olympic glory. We also encourage you to be a pole-vaulter who just kicks ass. Starting with a particular blogger we all know.

And if you do decide to flay that fucker: PK's got your back, sistah. Instant enlightened lynch mob. Just add water.



And that's what I needed to say in New York City, five years, 10 months after the Twin Towers burned.









*Now you know the real rewards of an Ivy League graduate degree...

**Which isn't bad, but you would think for $975 a credit we could get somebody in here to show the woman how to press the little arrow-thingys right. She also still seems upset about not being a member of the cast of "The Real World" 1992. Whatev.

*** When will the ridiculous "S Line" cease to be the standard of womanly beauty?

  • 미모의 얼짱 장대높이뛰기 선수 앨리슨 스토키
  • 미모의 장대높이뛰기 선수 앨리슨 스토키 (Allison Stokke)너무 이쁜그녀~ 앨리슨~육상계의 S라인~ 미모의 얼짱 장대높이뛰기 선수 앨리슨 스토키
****Well, there were those letters from the ROK Ministry of Sleaze Prevention concerning the photos taken during the Nancy Lang interview. But those pictures were blurry and the interviewee only looked under 18 relative to her interviewer. Who is still in his twenties, but does give off a solid impression of gleeful lechery.

******Libel, right? Slander's the other one...

******All three of whom have declared run-on sentences their primary pet peeve...

******* "No man enter, no dick leave!"

Psychedelic Kimochi


Transformers opens today on the penninsula. And you can bet I'm more interested in seeing it because of the alluring Megan Fox than to see Optimus Prime's lips.


Speaking of foxes, it will soon be my pleasure, and yours, to welcome the PK onslaught's newest member. Gentlemen, time to throw away the empty beer cans and pizza boxes -- we got a lady coming over.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Equity on Holiday



Take a gander at the picture on the right. I'm sure that you'll recognize several of the folks therein contained and, needless to say, they're a classy lot of defenders, avengers, and contenders.

Who wants to fuck with Superman? Yeah, you guessed it; no one wants a piece of the Kryptonian pie. Wonder Woman? Well, okay, plenty of people want to fuck -with- her, and I can appreciate that, but the fact remains that you really wouldn't want to be forced into telling the absolute, unadultered truth about anything and everything under the sun, would you? (Alas, it appears that I've confused you for me.)

Let's not even get started on Batman, or Bruce Wayne for that matter. Playboy by day, badass by night; he's probably got a dick the size of the Joker's grin, too, and you just know that he's giving it to Catwoman some of the time. At this point, I don't even know what I'm talking about.

They're the Justice League! That's what I was slithering toward. They champion humanity, despite the enormous risk involved, all for the sake of beloved justice. Don't believe in justice? Too bad, as justice believes in -savagely beating- you.

Whoa, whoa, hey, stop. Stop.


The Justice League was participating in their annual goodwill parade within the great town of Corruption Junction, and so they left a few portly gentlemen armed with outdated costumes, a Camaro, and a bucket of fried chicken in charge of the monumental task of serving planet Earth.

The most unexpected event occurred: they failed. It's not what you may think, though, and that's an even greater shock. They received a distress call from the Republic of Korea, and from their hidden abode in the unsuspecting town of Spearfish, the 7-11 guys-turned-fourth-tier-superheroes had planned an unrelenting assault on the nefarious forces plotting against some of the better folks on the Korean peninsula. What they hadn't accounted for, however, was that a dilapidated 1984 Chevrolet Camaro -nicknamed the Hand of Rustice because they're witty like that- scarcely had the capability to make a journey beyond the borders of South Dakota, let alone across the Pacific.

A transcript of the second phone call (slightly edited for objectionable content*)

Man in Need: Where the fuck are you guys! I called you forty -five minutes ago, and...hold up.....and actually, as it turns out, I needed you an hour ago. Don't give me that 'My Beefaroni isn't out of the microwave yet' shit, either.

Caped Crusader: No man, no it's not like that. Hawkman gave us a ten dollar voucher for Ethanol fuel, see, and we thought that would get us there, like yesterday, but it didn't work. I mean, as in the coupon is expired. No good.

Man in Need: Look, if you would just dispense with some, nay, any justice, I'll even throw in a bag of popcorn and-

Caped Crusader: Hey, I'll call you right back. Just accept the charges, okay?

Man in Need: This is...absolute shit. Even Kennan could do a better job than you jackasses, and he's nailed Betsy Palmer...

The story itself may or may not be our business, but what does matter is this: Justice took a breather, and good people suffered. It wasn't the first time, and it certainly won't be the last. More on the issue later, when someone better equipped comes along.

-----------

Anguirus


*In actuality, the Man in Need mentioned Bea Arthur, and not Betsy Palmer. Harsh.

This is How We Move It Down the Line

Folks, today I heard magic (not the kind coming from my upstairs neighbors' apartment, though I heard that, too). Do yourself a favor and check out -- read: illegally download -- the Smashing Pumpkins' new single, 'Tarantula.' Blow your goddamn mind, that will. By the way, if that song isn't, over the course of the next few years, used for some sort of sports broadcast (NBA Finals! NBA Finals! NBA Finals!), people are stupider than I currently imagine them to be...As the summer progresses and temperatures rise, please be sure to drink lots of water. This is especially important for my readers in their sixties, seventies, and eighties* For those of you stranded at sea without potable water, be sure to drink plenty of urine. To quote Brendan Flowers, it's not so bad...Saw Ocean's 13 this past weekend. Thoroughly enjoyable. Better than 12, not better than 11. Biggest laugh-out-loud moments of the film: the Mexican uprising and Andy Garcia on Oprah. Finally, Ellen Barkin is 53 years old, and I, just like you -- if you're male and saw the film -- was thinking the exact same thing: tap, tap, tap. Word to DeAngelo Barksdale...Pulled a Kobe in Game 7 of the Suns/Lakers 2006 playoffs series this Saturday (Jesus, I'm writing like Rorschach in Watchmen; I promise to stop, starting now). We lost 3 games in a row. And, truthfully, it made me feel kinda good, kinda important...New entry into the list of Songs Subliminally About Constipation: Move Somethin' by Reflection Eternal. And you know what, "Reflection Eternal" is the number one bestest Group Name Subliminally About Constipation. I had that epiphany in the bathroom, naturally**...Fuck what you heard, the Blazers are going to pick Kevin Durant, and here's why: Sam Bowie. Isn't it obvious?...Since April, I haven't finished a novel. I started out (re)reading Of Human Bondage, but stopped around page two-hundred-and-something due to supreme laziness/Internet***. I don't regret it, however, because I hadn't gotten to the part where Philip meets Mildred. And, trust me, while perhaps the greatest telling of fucked-up romance/craziness, shit hits a little too close to home. Makes my Tiberious Meat Hammer shrivel -- just a little -- thinking about it...Tom Cruise was born to play Ozymandias in the film adaptation of Watchmen. Can't tell me different. Picture Tom, hair dyed blonde, delivering those memorable words, "I'm not some Republic-serial villain. Do you seriously think I'd explain my master-stroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome? I did it thirty-five minutes ago." Biggest bastard moment in film history, I'm telling you. Again, Tom Cruise was BORN to play Ozymandias (and I was made to love you)...Advertising slogan which, if I -- theoretically -- worked for Proctor and Gamble, would have been fired long ago for coming up with: "Pepto Bismol: Don't It Make Your Pink Tongue Black?" (the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' song woulda been in the TV advert.) Whatever, I still successfully referenced the monolith in Stanley Kubrick's 2001 for an LG phone ad. K-Hot, we are at war with Proctor and Gamble. Don't shoot until you see the blacks of their tongues. Cheez-Ums in the south shall rise again...She was 16 and 6-feet tall, in a crowd of teenagers coming out of the zoo. Sorry, it's only been a few days, but those lyrics, from The White Stripes' 'A Martyr for My Love for You,' are positively literary. In fact, I'm sure many an unpublished writer -- this excludes TMH -- would sell his soul for an opening sentence like that. Me, I'd take "It was a dark and stormy night."...The copy on the small waste basket on my desktop reads, "This sunny and pleasant weather makes me feel something nice will happen." Yeah, that fucking thing is getting the Hans Gruber treatment, not now but right now...


*And for Mrs. Baker, one of my most constant retards, who will turn one-hundred-and-three years young on July 7th. Don't die before then, Mrs. B. Promise? I got a killer post in store for you on your special day. I mean, I got a REALLY GOOD post in store for you on your special day.

** Just so you know, I'm as regular as Norm Petersen and Cliff Clavin.

*** Blame K-Hot.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sonny Liston Was a Friend of Mine


I don't know who this "Tom Hoisington" fella is but he seems to have a keen grasp on the fight game and razor-sharp writing skills.

MMAWeekly Article

To quote Hemingway in a letter to Marlene Dietrich: My writing is nothing. My boxing is everything.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Last Waltz (Mido's Theme)


K-Hot knows how much I love ABBA's 'Dancing Queen.' I love it without an ounce of irony. It is a great song.

Idealjetsam knows how much I love 'Fake Plastic Trees' by Radiohead. Seriously, just sing "A green plastic watering can.." at any pitch and I melt like butter.

TMH knows how much I love 'I'm Shipping Out to Boston' by the Dropkick Murphys. So does Martin Scorsese.

Denz knows how much I love Pete and CL's 'T.R.O.Y.' He also knows the angst I feel as a late-twenties Caucasian b-boy drowning in a sea of nostalgia for true hip-hop.

My mom knows how much I loved Raffi, and I hope she knows how much I still do. Raffi, like meat, Paul Pierce, and Stanley Kubrick filming the lunar landing on a Hollywood soundstage, is the truth. Raffi, bless his still-beating heart, gave me just as much imagination as a child as Walt Disney did. No mean feat. Props.

The 18th Letter knows how much I love her and how much I always will. Nothing can compare, can even come close. Word to Sinead.

That said, the most beautiful piece of music ever recorded -- and, yes, I'm including the time I sang 'The Lollipop Guild,' as a kindergartener, in my school's production of The Wizard of OZ -- is 'The Last Waltz (Mido's Theme),' composed by Yeong-Wook Jo, featured in the Korean film Oldboy.

Now, whenever I tell people that The Last Waltz is unequivocally my favorite song of all time, I get a) a look of incredulousness, because, hey, the film from whence it came isn't exactly the feel good movie of the summer, you sickco, or b) a look of bewilderment, because, hey, the song of which you speak isn't exactly familiar to my Occidental ears.

Fine. To address the first point, Oldboy is a modern classic. You find it violent, shocking, a bit creepy or perverted? No prob. But let the composition stand on its own. I certainly don't defenestrate myself, believing I can fly, whenever I hear John Williams's Superman score. Take the music as it is. And, to be fucking sure, it is a sublime piece of music. I know I use that adjective too much, but, in The Last Waltz's case, it fits like epileptics.

To address the second, YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO IT. I WON'T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER. I WON'T EVEN TAKE AN "I'LL TRY TO CHECK IT OUT IF I GET A CHANCE." Listen, you absorb the profound beauty that is The Last Waltz or I will personally visit your home like Jay and Silent Bob -- and what a shitty movie that was -- and deliver a beatdown. I've been working out; I can do it!

In short, I love The Last Waltz like I love my dick size.

You should too. And like the T-1000, I won't stop until you do*.

"Hi, I'm looking for John Connor..."




* Ideally, you would love both equally.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The White Stripes, Icky Thump -- Review

For once in my god-forsaken life, I'm going to post a review of an album before everybody and their grandmothers have had a chance to listen to it. This, naturally, entails "creative procurement." Oh like you don't do it also.







It's hot and humid, so let's delve into the tracks before I loose any more energy/will to live:



Icky Thump

As previously mentioned, this is inarguably the best White Stripes song yet created. Says me. Released over a month ago, I've had to regulate the number of times I hear it, lest I overplay it and start to get sick of it. Sorta like 'People as Places as People' by Modest Mouse. That once-lovely song has suddenly turned into a cold bitch on me. By the way, why doesn't Jack White just go ahead and release a 90-minute album of him going nuts on the guitar? Like you wouldn't buy it*.

You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)

This sounds like the perfect wake up song. I'm telling you, if this is the first thing you hear in the morning, it is scientifically impossible for you to have a bad day. Believe me. No one sounds like he's having as much fun in rock music as Jack White does, from his singing to sublime guitar wielding. Ironic, I suppose, if The White Stripes are to be classified as blues.

300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues

Starts off with a nice acoustic melody. A lot more mellow than the first two tracks. I've never admired the complexity of Meg White's drums (but, boy, she can bang the shit out of those mothers), however, in a subdued way, she manages to impress me here with a versatility I've never heard/noticed before. The interspersed electric guitar wailings are actually a tad distracting on this, which is weird, because I fucking love interspersed guitar wailings. It's the acoustic guitar that makes this one. Is it just me, or are White's lyrics a lot less "cheesy old-fashioned" and a lot more "genuinely old-fashioned" on this? Fuck, I think a spider just bit my foot.

Conquest

This sounds like a mash-up between an Ennio Morricone spaghetti western score and the opening song for a Bond film. Not particularly a fan, surprisingly. The brief horn/guitar battle near the 2-minute mark is fucking aces, though. I think White was going for a level of deliberate corniness here, but he failed to hit the mark. Them's the breaks; even Prince Paul has his misses. Thankfully, this is short.

Bone Broke

Back to a more garage rock vibe. "I got another job at the liquor store. Damn!" The pace switchup after the first verse is killer. As is the 'nother switchup at the end of the 2nd. As far as pure rock-out moments go, this is the pinnacle of the "CD" so far. The next time I'm on that dust, I'm gonna put this one on repeat for about 15 hours.

Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn

Bagpipes! And a banjo! I'm not one for drinking songs (when I'm drunk, I like to listen to my upstairs neighbors screw; if they ever get an air conditioner and close their windows in the summer, my life will cease to have meaning), but this would make the perfectest tune to cheerfully quaff pints to. Forgive me: I'm picturing a band of hobbits dancing atop a wooden table.

St. Andrew (This Battle Is In The Air)

Like a cocaine-induced coda of the previous track. Meg White likes helium, apparently. I like Meg White**.

Little Cream Soda

One, two, three, four...duhn, duhn, duhn, duhnna, duhn, duhn, duhn, duhnna. Great opening. A Jack White guitar clinic in the vein of 'Ball and Biscuit.' (I think it's 'Ball and Biscuit,' anyway. Song titles in The White Stripes' oeuvre are oftentimes interchangeable.)

Rag And Bone

See?

Alternately amazing and silly. I found 'It's True That We Love One Another' from Elephant annoying, but a similar theme works here. You know what bugs me, though? That Meg White gets what I like to call the Flavor Flav treatment. It's okay that she doesn't get her own track and a few vocal performances on every White Stripes album, trust me. Or was that part of the divorce settlement?

I'm Slowly Turning Into You

'Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground, 'There's No Home For You Here,' 'For Her (Is Over For Me),' and now 'I'm slowly Turning Into You.' These songs are as similar as the Baldwin Brothers. 'There's No Home For You Here' is Alec, by the way. 'I'm Slowly Turning Into You'? Stephen. But not "Bio-Dome" Stephen -- more "The Usual Suspects" Stephen.

A Martyr For My Love For You

Is it just me, or does this sound eerily similar, upon opening, to something Everlast might have recorded circa Whitey Ford Sings the Blues? Maybe I'm tripping. But I doubt it. (I actually like Whitey Ford Sings the Blues, by the way.) This kicks ace all over the place. When the pace -- and organ and drums -- pick up after the 2-minute mark, I get goose bumps...sorry, I mean I get chicken skin***. I don't think White has ever done anything so...emo? While great, I can't say I'm thirsty for more. Like I'm not eager for Will Ferrell to pursue more dramatic roles, or for butter to get jealous of margarine and decide that it's time to start cutting down on the calories. At least it sounds honest. I once won the lottery.

Catch Hell Blues

"If you're looking for hot water, don't act shocked when you get burned a little bit." While perhaps unintentional, this sounds like a b-boy version of the blues. "Try to catch me!" White shouts while his guitar maniacally screams. It's as though he's saying, "Yeah, but can you do THIS? Thought not." Tough to call it an actual song, 'Catch Hell' is more like a virtuoso guitarist telling his peers they eat gruel for breakfast while he scoffs down steak and eggs. Jack White IS hip-hop!

Effect and Cause

Lyrics, somebody want lyrics? Love the wordplay. "I didn't rob a bank because you made up the law." "If you're heading to the grave, you don't blame the hearse." Good closer. Word to Tom Henke.

___

Conclusion 1: It is a fantastic album. That said, it's not better than Get Behind Me Satan****, Elephant, or White Blood Cells. Maybe it's better than The White Stripes and De Stijl, but I wouldn't know. Because I only got into them when they hit the mainstream. Now, if you will forgive me, I'm going to listen to Goodie Mob's first two albums so that I can neutralize my latter-day conformist tendencies.

Then I'm going to snort angel dust.

Conclusion 2: 4/5 *_*

Conclusion 3: That spider bite really fucking hurts.




* Creatively procure it, I mean.

** 's breasts

*** Because while Psychedelic Kimchi isn't a blog about Korea per se, I can't ignore my influences. I've lived here nearly a quarter of my life. Jesus, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

**** Blame The White Stripes for making me embarrassed to ask for CD's in record shops. I'm convinced their next album will be titled "I Ran Out of Toilet Paper."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Tiberious Meat Hammer!

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tiberious+meat+hammer

I swear to God I didn't write that myself. Truthfully, I don't know whether to be repulsed or greatly honored. Let's go with the latter by a nose.

"Whosoever holds this meat hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of...Tiberious!"



Eat your heart out, Mjolnir.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Things Fall Apart...

the centre cannot hold..."

TMH, 6/14: "The Mariners are only building hope in me so we can do our annual soul-crushing in July."

July came early this year:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/baseball/320208_mari18.html

Well, I'll be a real-live nephew of Uncle Sam.

What's in a Name?



Yes, that's my question/comment/lament/ipsism of the day. Normally, I'd have prefaced the whole scenario with some pillow talk, a bottle of the finest MD 20/20 available, and an economy-sized box of extra small Trojans -Bonus Trivia! I prefer the ribbed variant, and wear them inside out, for my pleasure- but the problem is that such an atrocity is simply too much to preface with superfluous pleasantries.

What atrocity, you ask? Well, let's start here. Amidst a treasure trove of flavor, you may notice a Cheddar Cheese Pringles. That's problem numero uno. They used to be known as CheezUms, and they were awesome, but I'll hit that topic in a bit. I reside upon Korean soil, so that's the market that counts. Alas, there's no luck to be had here on the peninsula, either.

This is the dilemma: A man -and by man, I mean psychologically amorphous crack baby residing in a misshapen adult body- should be able to eat CheezUms until he vomits and, by extension, proclaim something akin to 'I'm going to eat CheezUms until I vomit' prior to doing just that. By contrast, just imagine uttering the phrase 'I'm going to eat Cheddar Cheese Pringles until I vomit.' What the fuck is that? Forget about poetry, Mr. John Milton, as we've Paradise Lost right in the here, right in the now. Or do we?

and lo, the star, which they saw in the north, led them not astray

As a tribute to our faithful Canadian progenitor, I checked in with the Great White North, and it looks as if the Maple Menace has become the last beacon of light in an otherwise abyssal world. In the darkest of Procter & Gamble nights, hope springs eternal. I promised Sparkles that I would engage in some decadent consumption, and by god, I plan on keeping such an oath, even if it means that I must resort to desperate measures. Here goes:

Dear Mrs. Sparkles' Mom,

I write to you, esteemed matron, in an effort to mend our sordid relationship. I fully acknowledge that I, in a bygone era of unmatched hostility, had grievously offended you. There is nothing short of utter remorse for the nefarious role I often played at several tribal gatherings. I drank heavily at the majority of these otherwise delightful affairs, perhaps due to my inability to cope with the pressure of comparing myself to the family goldfish. Nonetheless, I place the blame squarely upon my shoulders, especially for that time I put you in a headlock at the local Big Boy where the last of our kinfolk gatherings took place. I cannot, will not lie: I was devastated when you took a spoonful of my corned beef hash, and that you had elected to neglect my desire for the last shot of Jack Daniel's. The sorrow, and the rage, were incalculable, but that does not excuse my misbehavior.

Despite my vulgar performances, of which they be too numerous to warrant explication, I'd like to think that we have shared several moments best described as magical. Surely you recall Sparkles' wedding, the sixth one, that is. After an evening of festivities, the wedding party retired to the comfort of a sensibly decorated Super 8 motel. Enraged by some perceived slight or whatnot, I banged upon your door for a good twenty minutes, demanding to be let in so that we could discuss our quarrel. You didn't open the door, but after a while, some drunk woman found me, and proceeded to perform fellatio on me. I know that you, above all, could appreciate the sounds that permeated the door. That was so awesome.

Speaking of awesome, do you think that you could ship a few dozen cans of CheezUms to me or, if need be, to your son? He owes me a favor or two, mainly because he's been dipping into the angel dust. You know how it goes.

Your humble servant,
Thomas G. Waites

P.S. To help you relive that phenomenal evening, I have enclosed a picture of the T-shirt Sparkles made to commemorate the experience. Enjoy.





_________

Hati

KB24


Let's get one thing straight, once and for all. I didn't decide to change my jersey number to 24 in order to not-too-slyly suggest that I'm better than MJ. I'm not saying I'm not, mind you, but that was never my intention, purely a coincidence. And it's not because Adidas, those fucking Judases, came up with the idiotic idea to re-release my old sneakers and call 'em "Crazy 8's." (Talk about vindictiveness!)

No, my decision to flip the digits stems from a chance encounter with Nicholas Cage's wife.

Really.

I met Nick at the Viper Room one night in late-February, 2006, his smoking hot Korean-American wife in tow. She's really talkative and enthusiastic about the sport, so naturally we hit it off. I mean, we had a nice convo. I certainly didn't want to have anal sex with her or anything. I certainly didn't want to do that.

(Shaq, on the other hand, woulda tapped that like the bathroom sink. I'm just saying.)

Anyway, Nick kept going on (and on, and on...) about his impressive comic book collection. He's got a copy of Action Comics no. 1, as if you care. I and Alice sure didn't, and when Nick went to the bathroom to clean off the cosmopolitan he mistakenly spilled on his rayon shirt (seriously, who the fuck wears rayon these days? If I wanted to see your nipples, Nicholas Cage, I'd go home and watch Con Air. I have it on HD DVD), we started talking about my favorite subject: Me.

Actually, we first started talking about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but when girly girl posited her theory that Snape is still good, and by killing Dumbledore he was protecting Malfoy from becoming evil, I had to change the subject. Women.

"You know, speaking of best-selling fantasy novels, I'm getting sorta sick of the LA spotlight. You must know how it is."

"Um, maybe," she responded.

"That's what I'm talking about! Finally, someone who shares my angst. There's a black cloud over this city. I need a change of scenery."

"So...where else is there?"

"New York, for one. No pressure there. Right?"

"I don't know. Hey, I think your cigar is out."

"And if not NY, then Boston's always an option. I'm sure the Boston sports media wouldn't criticize my every move like they do here."

"What's so special about Boston? They never have any movie premiers, not even a film festival. You'd be better off playing for the Nuggets. At least you could attend Sundance."

"Listen, the farther away I am from Colorado, the better."

"How about Toronto, then?"

"Are you shitting me? I don't wanna be big in Canada. Save that for Loverboy and Kraft Dinner."

"Well, Kobe," (I would be remiss if I didn't mention that at that moment she touched her earlobe, a telltale sign she wanted to sleep with me.) "It sounds like you don't know where you want to go."

"I really don't. Really, I don't," I said, knitting my brow and trying to look like Seth from The OC.

"It's clear that you want to go somewhere, though, right?"

"Definitely. I want to break free."

"Kobe, you need to convince yourself first. To do that, you have to send a subtle message."

"I'm not very good at subtlety, I must confess." Really, I'm not.

"You know what? Before a change of location, how about you change your jersey number? That's provocative, at least."

"It didn't work for Ron Artest."

"Who?"

"Nevermind. Keep talking."

"You know, in Korean the numer 24 is pronounced 'iysa,' (이사), which is also the verb for 'to move.' Maybe if you change your number to 24 it will be subversive, but not so much that your boss or agent or whoever will figure it out. And maybe it will give you strength."

I contemplated everything she had said.

"In Korean, 24 really means moving?"

"Yup," she affirmed. "And 18 means fuck."

"Good to know," I said, smiling, picturing what jersey number I was going to change Shaq's to on NBA 2K.

___

So there it is. I'm going to be traded, eventually. I'm leaving Lala Land. Let the record show that I never publicly bitched or moaned about it. Because I'm too classy. Have you seen me chew gum recently?

I just cerebrially blew your mind this time, didn't I?

PS - My sincere apologies to anyone who bought a no. 24 Los Angeles Lakers jersey. Silver lining: in about eight years you can wear it as a throwback, providing you're under thirty and haven't gotten obese since then.

PPS - I REALLY hope I get traded to Sacto. Just so for the next decade we can be called the Mamba Kings.

PPPS - I have no harsh words for Jerry Buss, Phillie Jax, or anyone else in the Lakers (dis)organization*. Not until my biography hits shelves, that is.

Stay strong,

Mamba24

* Except for Jordan Farmar. That fucker's feet smell like Doritos, and all of his so-called freestyles are clearly not off the dome. Keep kickin' your writtens, Jordan. I'll see you at the All-Star Game.

(*chuckles*)

Ego Trippin


I'm not famous. I'm not even almost famous. The big magazines do not call me for begging for interviews (with the exception of Tokyo Coed Enthusiast Quarterly, who email me daily). I feel that in the absence of better media exposure, our readers are being deprived. Of what? I am not precisely sure.

In order to address this perceived imbalance, I've liberated the following questions from the AV Club's interview with Chuck Palahniuk. My aim? To give you, dear reader, a better insight into the mind of the antipode poet. I know IJ suggested we write less about ourselves, but you know what? Fuck IJ. He posts, what, twice a year?

Make sure you check out the actual interview here. And apologies for any AV readers for boosting your Qs. Any further grief, take it up with the Man.

Question: Actor Jack Palance was born Volodymyr Palanyuk; any possible, albeit distant, relation? Because that would be awesome. —Andy T.

Zel: Okay, Readers. I never said this was going to work.

I will, however, tell you a story. The wife and I have been trying to work out what to do with our surnames should we create version 2.0. Do we give the kid my name or double-barrel it? The problem is, if we were to hyphenate our surnames, what we would effectively create is the name of one of Australia's most disappointing cricket captains. A guy who actually cried on inter/national television when he relinquished his captaincy. Can I inflict this kind of stigma on my kid? The only thing worse would be naming the kid John Howard.

Should we choose to double down, not many people will remember the name by the time my kid walks out onto a cricket pitch for the first time. So I guess it'll be okay. That said, if some feisty grandfather feels the urge to bring it up, I'll make sure the next time he sees his dentures will be when his Filipina nurse, Esmerelda, cleans out his colostomy bag.

Q: A few years back at one of your book signings I heard about the real whale from "Free Willy" becoming a chronic masturbator and the zoo officials attempted to placate him by showing him "whale porn." Is that footage of whales, other animals, or what? Was it edited to bring about maximum stimulation (i.e. multiple angles) or was it more of a static, one camera affair? And did the zoo officials' plan work? —feitclub

Zel: Look, you flatter me. I'm not published. As for masturbating whales? I'm not really into sea animals. I did enjoy 'Into the Blue', though. And had I been single, I would have masturbated whilst watching it. Hope this helps.

Q: Under what circumstances would you kick a living kitten into a wood-chipper? —eb

Zel: What the fuck is wrong with people?

Q: What is the most salacious piece of gossip that you know to be true? —Stev D

Zel: Ian Thorpe - homosexual. I know, aren't I controversial?

I'm not really big on gossip, although I am enjoying the well chronicled coke phase of Lindsay Lohan's life. I attribute her present woes to Karmic payback for destroying the archetypal ... erm ... physique she flaunted in Mean Girls. So many memories.

Q: What is the meaning of life? I figure if anyone knows, it's you. —someone

Zel: Meaning? I don't have an answer. But where do I find meaning? In truth - spoken or written. And in thighs, jumpshots and good coffee. I'm a simple man and you can get your own answer.

Q: If you could witness any historical event first-hand, what would you choose? —Joe Blevins1

Zel: The crucifixion. I'd take a golf cart and a mini DV and drive around looking for the second shooter. And if Magdalene looked anything like Monica Bellucci in the Passion, I'd slap down a fist full of gold coins now and repent later. Because, gents, it's not infidelity if your wife hasn't been born yet.

Q: Do you think there can really be true "underground" movements anymore, or is the Internet making everything too readily available to everyone? —MollyPocket

Zel: The internet is the red cordial (kool-aid) to our global ADHD. Our ability to focus on any topic has atrophied to a point where we will give up on an issue if doesn't load quickly enough. A lot of great ideas get hijacked and exposed before they even have a chance to take root and mature. Much akin to an NBA team drafting a tall lanky high school kid that ends up in the NBDL, Europe or, worse, Keon Clark's Mercedes. There's just not enough patience or cultivation anymore, and far too much exposure too soon.

The flipside is a limitless source of information. I can spend hours on Youtube digging up spoken word and poetry slam pieces. I can group up with four guys in four different corners of the globe and spit about nothing and everything. And I can download pornography.

Whether this has any lasting impact on underground movements, I don't know. However, I do think the new underground will be offline. And the revolution will not be televised.

Q: If you could force Dick Cheney to watch any movie, TV show, or montage, A Clockwork Orange style, what would it be? —shinobi

Zel: The Big Lebowski. Say what you will about the tenets of neo-conservatism, at least it's an ethos. [/nerd]

Q: What in your opinion, is the best book-to-film adaptation? —the jace

Zel: Fight Club and Trainspotting spring to mind. In both respects, the films were true enough to the source, and yet stood alone as great art/entertainment. I don't feel that my answer is particularly hip though, so I'll throw this question out to my PK brethren. O

Q: Can someone be a brilliant artist without being seriously fucked-up? Can someone be a brilliant artist and be completely sane and well-adjusted? Can the sane and good create art that is meaningful and not simply bland or pretty to look at? —Isaiah Technician

Zel: There are no absolutes. I function pretty well in society and I can write a little. I must confess to having a constant and detailed running narrative in my head (except when fucking). If that makes me a maladjust, well, so be it. I'd ask Sparky (cf. constant retard).

Q: Would you rather burn to death or freeze to death? Alternatively, how would you most like to die? —sneeches

Zel: Dark was the night and cold was the ground, so let this whiteboy freeze to death. I mean, seriously, who would choose to burn? As for preferred method of death - something involving a busload of Japanese racequeens and dehydration would be suitable.

Q: As disgusting as it sounds, I have a fascination with the graffiti scrawled on the walls of public restrooms. What is the most interesting/enigmatic picture or saying that you have seen in a public restroom? What does restroom graffiti say about our culture as a whole? —down

Zel: I dropped something on a toilet floor once. Nothing fecal, mind, just a pen that had fallen behind the S-bend (I was drawing a dick and balls). As I reached down to pick up the pen, I noticed a little piece of graf that read 'what are you looking down here for?' So true, little wall, so true.

As to what toilet graf says about our culture as a whole? It says that if you hide a man behind four walls and put his pants around his ankles, he'll say whatever base shit is on his mind.

Doesn't that sound familiar?

Q: It's the apocalypse. You're allowed one weapon—what is it and why? —nflux

Zel: Too easy. Just gimme the Barstal Bat. During quiet periods, I could attach a fishing line, clean dusty rugs and play teeball.

Q: I'm planning on moving to Portland, OR largely on account of you and Fugitives And Refugees (and to finish my M.A. degree). What, outside of that bad-ass book, should I know about the city? —Hiyme

Zel: The #1 Picking Blazers - incredible turn of events out in Portland. A nucleus of Roy, Oden (pending) and Aldridge (Maybe even Z). A bunch of young guys in Jack, Outlaw, Webster and Miles. They even have a Gorilla and an Aussie (Schenscher). What's not to like about this team? Aside from that, I don't know much else about the Pacific Northwest. Check with TMH or something. Homage: Denz places his pen down and watches her plane depart in a listless grey arc. He checks his watch, stands and orders a milkshake from a busty waitress. Vanilla.

Q: Regardless of whether ghosts exist, why do you think they're so important to our culture right now? I ask the question not just in relation to literature (and your excellent books on haunting could be one example, from Fight Club to Lullaby and beyond), but with a view to contemporary horror movies, geopolitics, etc. What attracts us to ghosts, why do we need them, what can they teach us, and why now? —Simon P

Zel: Why? Because otherwise this is it.

Is this it?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Galactus's Herald

Dude, you should try the double hamburgers they sell at Buy The Way. The bomb like Gigli. Yeah, the honey mustard sauce is a little disappointing, but I just put some French's on that mutha to bring back balance to the Force. I KNOW I would eat a car bumper if it were slathered in ketchup, but you gotta believe me. You're still eating meat, right? I mean, meat is the truth. Don't front.

I went to Tuna Land in Yatap with a very especial person tonight. He's got a wicked smile. Still, it wasn't the same without you. Wanna watch Grey's Anatomy some time? I got the first 2 seasons on DVD.

It's like this: Fake Plastic Trees and Letdown are untouchable. We KNOW this. But, I'm saying, Blackstar wouldn't exactly get crushed a la the Cleveland Cavs in the NBA Finals. You know I'm right.

(And I know you don't care, but I gotta say it: Lebron James better be careful, or he's gonna end up Nick Anderson squared times a hundred and fifty million. Somebody, give that nail-biting manchild a hug, stat.)

I gotta take a leak. Hold on a sec...

Back like S-lines and Thurman Thomas (what year is it again?). As I was saying, never lend a girl a T-shirt, 'cause when she gives it back -- which she probably won't -- it'll be all stretched out in the chest. And that's the only reason I can think of why breasts suck.

I'm thinking about becoming a snake charmer, actually. My mom is all rah-rah, "Eoin, those things are dangerous," but I really don't see what the big deal is. I can do most anything, after all.

(Don't you breathe. Don't you breathe.)

I need help on something. What adjective best describes how an onion tastes? Certainly, "spicy" is inapt. So what else is there? I want to invent a new word. Onionic? Oniony? It doesn't work, 'cause garlic would be jealous. Buick LeSabre? Unless you say different, onions and garlic shall henceforth be described as tasting Buick LeSabre.

I'm not too worried, yet. Sure, I woke up this morning in the wolf cage at the London Zoo, but right now I feel okay. I mean, I don't feel like biting anyone, if that's what you're getting at. Trust me, if I feel a change coming on, you're the first person I'll tell. Then you can lock me in a shack until I overcome my lunar urges, like Jack did Wolf in The Talisman. Right here and now!

Hey, I just got off the phone with TMH. If you talk to him, please back up my claim that Chinese Democracy is like the shark in Jaws and the suitcase in Pulp Fiction: a force of nature better left to the imagination. I tried to call him back and tell him that I'm going through my own struggles with Cuban Linx II, but Sanjeev picked up and said the master was indisposed with a Thai massage. And, if you can, tell him that Spitting Venom is marvelous, and at least he has Cheetos that'll coat the living room carpet like orange snow. I don't even have kimchi-flavored crisps. These are the sacrifices we must make. Tell that handsome MF that in a few months he'll have Oden and Durant. Waiting is hard, but there's always a reward for those who do. Hope, you see...

Pineapple, tomorrow is waiting for your smile*.

No, Tony Soprano isn't dead. He's a little Italian gangster who lives in my mouth.



* Who says Konglish isn't poetic?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dispatch From America: Duty Bound

FILING
Date: 6/13/2007
RE: Assignment Details

What you have to understand is, I didn't ask for him to be there. I didn't ask for him to come. I know that being editor-in-chief of a massive, international media conglomerate like Psychedelic Kimchi isn't an easy charge, and I know that all of us, all of us, have domestic interests on the side as well. Nonetheless, there he sat, at the Starbucks in the middle of SeaTac airport, sipping what looked to be a double espresso from a small cup and saucer.

I was surprised, sure, but I guess the tone of my last missive had really spooked the powers-that-be at the ol' home office. I had requested a meeting with my handler, carefully encrypting it so that prying eyes could cipher neither the substance nor the recipient of the correspondence. But, at the bottom, in big, block, handwritten letters, I had included the following postscript, without encryption, without subtlety:

I WANT OUT. I'M DONE. BRING ME IN. I'M COMING HOME.

I didn't feel good about writing it. I didn't feel good about throwing a hissy fit. I knew I had been chosen for the assignment of PK's American Heartland correspondent because I was viewed as having a certain steely resolve. But of late, that resolve had cracked, and I wanted to make that clear. I was asking to be rotated out, exactly one year after assignment. I felt I'd lived up to my obligation, and it was someone else's turn.

"Where's Francois," I inquired.
"Francois' cover and life were both endangered by your little tantrum on your most-recent correspondence."
"Oh, c'mon," I groaned, lowering myself into the seat opposite him. "No one is on to us. No one is monitoring us. Pressure has lifted significantly since my arrival here."
"Still," he said, pausing to sip, "it was... Indiscreet."
"Okay, look, I'm sorry. Okay? And I know I agreed to this assignment. But I'm cracking up over here. You have to get me out. Like, now. There ain't nothing wrong with me that a night in Itaewon, followed by breakfast at Nashville's, followed by approximately 26 hours of sleep at the Hamilton wouldn't fix. I need to take that freedom bird back to the world and rotate home, man!"
He sipped again, seeming to comtemplate it. "That is, as you well know, an impossibility."
"Impossibility my ass! I'm cracking up! I thought I was some hotshot, Ernest-Hemingway foreign correspondent but I'm not! These people are insane! They regularly and religiously vote against their own economic interest and the physical well being of their young adults! I tell you I can't take it!"
"Let's not get into Hemingway again," he smirked.
"Oh indeed, let us not."
"We have other American correspondents who don't seem to share your concern for their own safety and sanity. Why, IJ sits in New York even as we speak."
I became enraged. "This is what I'm talking about! You people have no idea what I'm going through out here. You really want to compare me to Jetsam? He's in New York! On a college campus! You think that's America? You think that's suffering? Do you know where I was last month?"
"I know where you..."
"Wisconsin, motherfucker! I was in Wisconsin! They prayed before every meal, served me egregious amounts of dairy products and faced hardships with good nature and faith in a higher purpose. Do you realize what that's like for me?"
"Lower your voice, people are..."
"Let 'em look! And you know what else? Sopranos has three seasons of age-centered material followed by a blackout for a series finale. Every big budget action movie that has come out since I got here has sucked. They canceled Deadwood and Rome. The 'Hawks are on their way down. The Mariners are only building hope in me so we can do our annual soul-crushing in July. The new Modest Mouse record, even with Johnny Marr on it, had only one good song (there, I said it). And here are the names of the authors of four of the current top-five selling fiction books as published by the New York Times today: Michael Connelly, Dean Koontz, Mitch Albom and James Patterson. Meanwhile, none of you fuckers can write a post that doesn't have the punchlines as footnotes, so twice every paragraph I have to count the number of asterisks, scroll down to the bottom, count up the corresponding number of asterisks, and then laugh. Do you realize how time consuming that is? And don't get me started..."
"Please don't get started..."
"The one refuge for my sanity was that every couple months I got a new PRIDE FC. And then Dana White, prince of all darkness, goes, buys it, and turns it into UFC AAA. I have been forced to endure trials here beyond what can rationally be expected of a man. I want to go home."
He pushed slightly away from the table and lit a cigarette, oblivious to or unconcerned with the law prohibiting smoking indoors in Washington State. He exhaled a plume of smoke.
"Do you know why we chose you to come here and tell the story of these people?"
"Sure, my analytical eye, my literary wellspring of talent, my personal hygiene, my breathtaking penmanship."
"Listen, dipshit," he said. "Where were you born?"
"Spokane."
"And what's your drink?"
"Bourbon."
"Good bourbon?"
"Jim Beam."
"That's the kind that's even cheaper than Wild Turkey, right?"
I saw where he was headed and tried to divert him. "I'm just saying it's not fair. Denz is in Australia. You're in Seoul. Kmart is god knows where. I'm the one that has to tolerate all this..."
"What?"
"Earnestness. I have problems, man. You wouldn't understand."
He stubbed out his cigarette, exhaled smoke, and raised an eyebrow. I was immediately regretful.
"I mean, they're small in the overall scheme of things, but still... All the more reason just to do the easy fix and bring me home."
He stood up and adjusted his coat before checking his watch, a none-too-subtle sign that his flight back to Seoul and reality was soon departing. He had never left the airport in his brief sojourn and, contemplating what I would be going back to face after I left the somewhat-international confines of the building, I couldn't say I blamed him. But as he stood there I noticed a new resolve about him, a new purpose. The change was not so much physical, although to be certain he was carrying more musculature than when I had seen him last, but more in the vain of attitude as conveyed by his posture and the obvious focus in his eyes. He was not a man who would be dissuaded from his purpose, no matter what the adversity, and I had been a fool to think I could deter him from his stated course of intent.
"Did you hear what I said you marvelous bastard," I begged him. "I want to go home!"
"I heard. But even in stories as hackneyed and cliched as yours, I'm not delivering that corny closing line you so hope for. I, you see, am not a Hemingway fan." He checked his watch again. "As you're aware, I have more pressing matters in Seoul." He touched my shoulder and leaned closer as he walked past. "Don't pull this kind of shit again."

I sat for a moment as the smell of his smoke dissipated. I thought about what he'd said. I thought about running after him and pleading with him to take me on that plane. Then I stood up, grabbed my camera, recorder, and rucksack, and walked through security, out to the parking area.
Sanjeev, my translator/stringer/confidante was outside with the Land Rover.
"Good trip, boss?"
"Not over yet, old friend," I said, stepping up into the cab and contemplating the 120 miles of road, the mountains, the weather, and the bandits we would have to pass on our way back to base.
"No, I 'spose not. Anything else you need in the city? Or you just want to go to the 'Burg?"
"No, I think I'm set," I said through the large wad of chewing tobacco I was cramming into my face. "Let's go home."

Because I, after all, am a Hemingway fan.

David Copperfield



Fairy dust.

In other news, I am enthralled by season won of Prison Break -- it's like a Stephen King novel: totally ridiculous plot, great characters, even if they are cliched, but put together so deftly that all the silliness involved can be forgiven; the PK 27 is not dead, but it might become so when I tyrannically insist that Justin Timberlake's 'What Goes Around...' be involved. If I'm found dead in an alley, blame Jenny Agutter and an as-yet unforseen conspiring contributer (Et tu, Idealjetsam?). The ides of June are a comin'; As a total Manic Street Preachers homer, I have to say that Autumn Song is a phenomenal, um..song, even though it's the power pop equivalent of Mad Libs; I still get headaches when I do push-ups, by the way. When I masturbate, not so much; I haven't seen the series finale of The Sopranos, nor have I watched the series further than its inaugural season, but from what I've read it sounded like the perfect ending. Always leave 'em wanting more and all that. Closure is for owners of dying pets.

That said:

Since April 2006, I've had a very...shall we say, eventful 14 months.

If the Cavs win four inna, I promise I'll tell you all about it, Constant Retard. But keep in mind that you never get what you really want, just what you deserve. Still, there's always a chance.

Don't stop thinking about tomorrow. Don't stop believing.

(And feel free to beat me to death with a tire iron the next time I make another vague motivational post lead by a polar bear photo.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

David Blaine

I'm in a giving mood. Last year, the Miami Heat, down 2 games to none against a frisky -- it's OK to laugh; in fact, it's encouraged -- Mavericks skwad, returned home to make love like semtex on the greatest stage of basketball, the NBA Finals.

And it was all my doing. Mostly. A little bit. A little?

What I did was, drunken tiger style, lambast the Heat for lying down and letting the Mavs tread on them. And it worked. As my old friend Mark Stein is fond of saying, why mess with success? Hence, because I love basketball like I love my

(dick size)

left earlobe, and want to see a motherfucking series, it's a Rerun and Roger of last year:

Mic Borwn: You hjave nice glasses. Yuor omptomitrist ios fnatastic. Lern to coach a ballgame in roffly 9 hours, smartsass.

Laborn Kames: You look clunky. Do you feel clunky? What i fell is you feel sacred. But dont worry! You are great and will not be scared. You cna take this Jazz team to olvian heights. You hvae it in you.

Dew Goodson: Lastet night I fell asleep and woke up around three and I was cold so I put on as white t-shit. It made me feel wamer. I stelp like a baby. You too must feel wramth. U2 must get cromfatable. Own the game, be the gmae. And take eat to another level. The back of your neck looks like an unshaved pussy.

Denial Gibson: dnot listen to your coack. A sudent cant teach a sholar, right? Do you. I useda know a guy named Svete Gibson, and he slod cheap cigarettes at school. He was the man what I'm taryning to say is that you are the also man also. so don;t forget that.stab someone

Zydrunas Ilgaukiss: Nivea? Clearasil? How come your face always looks so fresh, so clean? You post up lkie my leg hairs make graet violin strigs.

Demon Jones: if you make anuther great shot like you did lestat year against the Wizxards, I'll but you a car! I'll buty you a fucking car, Damon!

Larry Hues: You look really yung for your age. Me and boobie are going top go buy some beer, do you want to chipin? I coulod fallasleep right now, but boobs has some terrific eyeborws, and he keeps asking me to hnag out. it's kind of annoying, but hes alittle steressed out so im gonna find a motel room and let hem slep it off. wish u were here.

Andersen Varajow: why the forwn? don't felel too bad, its not everday you get to sleep with no. 29 Svete Javie.

Fnas of Celvlaand: amke some noise, could you?

___

Ah, my heart wasn't really into it. The Cavs are still doomed. They're done. Done. I have a better chance singing Karma Police at a noraebang at 2AM with strept throat.

D-E-A-D I tells ya.

Unless my reverse psychology actually works. And Mike Brown stops coaching like a retard.

Cleaveland Rokcs!

Signed,

Tiberious aka Craig Ehlo

Monday, June 11, 2007

No Pain, No Migraine


Lady* and gentlemen, I am proud to announce that my once-skinny ass is these days up to a very healthy 71 Kilograms (nearly 157 pounds), 6 Kilos more than what I weighed only 2 months ago. Surprisingly, this is not due to my late-night beer and later-night galbi predilection, but rather a rediscovered zeal for exercise of the non-onanistic variety.

Please don't mistake my confidence for arrogance, a few months ago I mentioned to a friend that I possess the willpower to achieve any goal I set for myself**. (It's what got me on the roster of the Seoul Samsung Thunder, after all***.) This conversation centered upon my prodigious smoking habit (a pack a day, if you're curious), and when it was posited that I'm a motherfucking liar -- because who in his right mind sucks down a pack of squares per diem and has the wherewithal to claim he's an authority on successful living? -- I replied that I can quit any time, I just don't wanna****.

But I WANTED to get in shape. When a four-year old challenges you to an arm-wrestle and nearly pulls off the upset*****, you start to see things a bit more clearly. You kinda have to have an epiphany. Of sorts.

I decided to prove the imaginary detractors in my head wrong. I decided to start working out every day until I could replace the adjective "scrawny" with "stupid" as the most apt word to describe myself. I'm almost there.

Certainly, I'm no Hank Azaria in Along Came Polly -- but after 3 weeks of eating well, exercising every day******, and constantly looking at myself in the mirror and kissing my biceps like a WWE heel, I'm seeing some definite progress. Think Max Cady with a lot fewer tattoos (read: none) and a lot more pot belly.

Someday soon, I'm totally gonna go to the beach and kick sand at some random ajumma. Although I'm considering abandonning my regimen, cuz my dick looked a lot bigger before I started working out. And if I don't have a long johnson I have nothing. You think I'm joking.

Regardless (vis a vis my incredible shrinking penis), today I was faced with a tough hurdle. See, on Sunday I started out exercising*******, and after 40 push-ups I got a pretty mean headache. I told myself it was just the aftereffect of an evening of carousing. But today, as clean and sober as Michael Keaton, I caught a bad one. After 20 push-ups I had to take a T. My headache had returned, and this time it felt as though my skull was imploding.

I now know what David Kessler felt in An American Werewolf in London when he transformed into a lycanthrope, I'm convinced. I was literally brought to my knees, clutching my head in agony. The only thing that stopped me from screaming was the knowledge that it would only intensify my suffering.

I picked up the telephone to call who the hell knows, but I couldn't see straight to dial a single digit; and my always reliable hands, as though magnetized to my scalp, would not under the most concentrated effort stray far for more than a second or two. Jesus, I wish I'd had a Bluetooth.

You know what, though? I walked that fucker off. I did another 20 push-ups, was again brought to my knees, then did another as soon as the pain subsided just a little...lather, rinse, repeat; and in the process I learned something I already know: if I'm truly set on something, I'm going to do it, and only the reaper can stop me. TRY to stop me, I mean.

(Please, don't mistake my arrogance for confidence.)

When I arrived home from work this evening I had completely forgotten about this afternoon's cranial torture. I was again reminded of it when I dropped and gave 40, however. Big deal. Maybe I have some fucked up spinal shit or something********, but everybody hurts, right? Michael Stipe taught me that.

And maybe, just maybe, I'll soon turn into a werewolf.

Which would not only be cool, but would also compound the claim that I am always right.

Bite you later,

Eoin







* Hi, Mom.

** Obviously, the initials NL were used as proof.

*** With great willpower comes great compulsive lying.

**** As far as debating goes, my skills are unmatched.

***** In my defense, she WAS Little Miss Titania, 3 months running.

****** Full disclosure: 300 push-ups, 300 stomach crunches (I haven't shit in a week! THAT's progress), 100 arm curls with my mammoth Case Logic CD holder, and an unknown number of times lifting my fold-away table above my head until I make up new swear words when I try to put it down without dropping the fucker to the floor in a heap of splintered wood.

******* Or, "exorcising," a term I coined for exercise the day after a night of heavy drinking. I should write for Men's Health.

******** I'd make the best doctor in the world, I'm convinced. "Doc, give it to me straight," Patient X says, and I say, "Drew, you don't have long to live. Some crazy-ass weird shit is blocking blood flow to your heart. Wanna get in a game of Scrabble while there's still time left?"

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Detasseling



It seems that Psychedelic Kimchi's favorite songstress is pushing a new product, which is a tea accentuated by the flavor of corn or, precisely, corn tassel (옥수수 수염 차). The new product that she's promoting is not terribly impressive insomuch that, having sampled said 'drink' (and I use that term as loosely as Adam Corolla uses the phrase comedian to describe his profession) I can attest, with no exaggeration whatsoever, that I'd rather ingest Enerst Borgnine's urine*.

Should I dismay the conduct of PK's resident dryad**? Nope. As vile a concoction as Corn Tassel Tea is, BoA cannot be faulted for her actions. She is, after all, promoting a derivative of corn and I, bred from the land of corn (and pesticides, but that's how we roll on Tainted Soil) applaud her sensibilities.

Her devotion to corn invariably suggests her predilection for me, as opposed to some other, vagrant contributor***. That's what counts.

Eddie Quist

* Okay, I probably wouldn't, unless he were dressed up as Sergeant 'Fatso' Judson or Dominic Santini.

** 'She's a dryad?' Yes, as Psychedelic Kimchi is the veritable Tree of Mystery.

*** Click on the picture, if you're willing to unravel that harrowing enigma.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Psychedelic Kimochi -- Eyebrows Edition


This is going to be my second consecutive brief post* (only this time I'm sober!), but remember one thing: there are no short posts, only short posters.

That said, a few thoughts before we delve into one of my biggest fetishes:

- The White Stripes' new single, Icky Thump, is unequivocally their best song ever. I will stab you if you disagree. By the way, since Icky Thump is also the title of their forthcoming album, I'm curious as to where it ranks on the list of albums with titles that are embarrassing to ask for in CD stores**. I'm putting it just behind I'll Sleep When You're Dead and ahead of EFIL4ZNAGGIN

- I can finally say it: Stan Van Gundy wants to spend less time with his family!

- Game 1 of the NBA Finals was without a doubt the worst Finals game I've ever witnessed. And, goddamn my magic 8-ball, it looks as though we're in for at least 3 more trips to the torture chamber. Here's the thing: the Cavs are, obviously, doomed -- but if I'm Mike Brown (and who's to say I'm not?), during halftime here's what I'm saying to my guys:

"Look, we're not down by much, but the Spurs are going to absolutely slaughter us in the third quarter. That's their bread and butter. We take away their third quarter, we have a fighting chance. I don't care if you have to stick Manu Ginobli with a syringe while the zebras aren't looking, DON'T LET THEM RUN AWAY WITH THIS THING IN THE THIRD! Damon, run into the stands during a timeout and fondle Eva Longoria if you have to. The third is the key. We win the third, we win the game, 'cause those motherfuckers always leave a window open in the middle of the fourth. And, hey! Lebron, stop biting your fucking nails. Your tell is worse than John Malkovich's in Rounders."

- Yeah, the Spurs are great and all, but put together two consecutive championship seasons and then call me back Re: consistency. You motherfuckers are like Star Trek films (not that I like Star Trek, btw).

Conspiracy theory: the league outlawed playing music during possessions, right? So why is it I heard, not a few times, music being played when the Spurs had the ball? And if that wasn't egregious enough, they played that godawful "Day-yo!" chant when the Cavs were in control. Cheaters.

- If I'm ever on death row (and, really, it's only a matter of time), my last meal would be tuna kimbap and kimchi mandu. And a can of Welch's Sparkling Grape. Tse-tse fly.

---


Now...

I'm a man of simple pleasures, something moribund in these times. Thong underwear does nothing for me (to quote Andre 3000, I prefer those old school white regular draws); ass fucking is, in a word, gross; bondage? I'll see you later, unless I see you first. And I'd rather cut my penis tip off than watch a guy shit in a girl's mouth (or vice-versa). People make the world go 'round, perhaps, but give me a facsinating smile, lithe figure, and perky breasts anyday over...whatever shit turns fucked-up weirdos on these days.

Oh, and, give me thick eyebrows.

Maybe, just maybe, you're sitting at home, reading this, thinking "Sparkles, you definitely are one fucked up cat," and, if that's the case, let us agree to disagree. Unless you get turned on by watching shit-eating porn, that is. In that case, seek help. I won't deny that you are free to indulge in depravity of that sort; but, at the same time, EWWW!

I won't*** write a long essay on the un-sexiness of most porn (unless you pay me), but from what I've seen -- and, boy, I've done my research in that department -- it seems that porn these days is the last battle cry of mysoginism against a world in which the gap of equality between men and women is ever closing. Rebellion against the status quo is healthy, and if done properly can have great artistic impact -- take punk music for one example, hip-hop for another; but, I'm sorry, the raison detre of porn is to titilate. I appreciate feces porn and its ilk as much as I appreciate seeing a child abuse documentary. Honestly, I could watch both. I'd feel shock, horror, disgust, anger, maybe a little intrigued, even. Hell, I'm only human. Sometimes my curiosity gets the best of me. But, to reiterate (and to quote Dirk Diggler), it's not sexy.

Maybe, some day, some visionary will come along and strike an accord between hardcore porn and art. But I doubt it. Not to be crass, but if I go to a restaurant and the meal I'm served looks like it was crafted with the same care and precision it took to paint the Sistine Chapel, I'm not thinking about how pretty my dinner has been arranged -- all I'm thinking about is how good it's going to taste. In the same way, nobody watches porn and expects to ken the deeper urges of the human psyche -- he or she (usually he) just wants to be aroused, jack off, and later consider the aesthetic complexities of life. In that way, porn is merely a transition atween animalistic tendencies and man's pursuit of progression apart of the animal kingdom****.

One last thing needs to be said: as far as I know (and, to quote Aaron Neville, I don't know much, but I know I love you), no other creature on planet Earth derives pleasure from watching another of its kind degrade its mate. They may not have Burger King and Netflix, but even pigeons know that shitting on someone isn't a mating call, it's another way of saying "fuck you".

___


Now...

Thick eyebrows ARE sexy. Maybe I (purposefully?) killed the buzz, but, if you're still with me, let's step into my libido.


(This was inspired by Ideal "Flash" Jetsam's blink-and-you-missed-it Kimochi. And Chivas Regal. And Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)


Without further adieu, I give you the sexiest caterpillar-browed human beings. COUNTDOWN!


5) Kathy "Kiss Me I'm" Ireland
Thinkin' 'bout a masterplan. 'Cause ain't nothin' but sweat inside my hand.


4) America's Next Top Model 7's Anchal Joseph

I start to think, and then I sink; into the paper, like I was ink.


3) Brooke Shields

Me and Eric B was coolin' at the Paladium.


2) Sherilyn Fenn

I put a hole in the speaker, pull the plug, then I jet.


1) Martin Scorsese

Word to Daddy, indeed.


(My supreme apologies to Idealjetsam and K-Hot for not including the illustrious and praiseworthy Jennifer Connelly. To be sure, she's the sixth-woman of the millenium. And she deserves badly to be kimochi-ized. And now she has been. I'm sure she appreciates it as much as we do.)


* Didn't happen. I cannot be contained!

** Like anyone goes to CD stores these days.

*** purposefully try to

**** And, no, love between man and beast -- in the non-Benji sense -- is still wrong.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Can I Give My Old Heart to You?



There are moments, and then there are MOMENTS. The above photo was inspired by one such. I'll leave it up to Voltron and my mom to guess which:

a) OB lager

b) The Idealjetsam proclivity onslaught (don't think it won't happen)

c) The opening title -- no plural -- of The Departed

d) Euphoric urination

E) All of the above

Hint: I will gladly sell my soul for another sip of you.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Fifteenth Floor



And The High Evolutionary Speaks*


Points of parliamentary procrastination:

  1. Some people say I don't post on PK enough, and they're right. But that's only because of the reasons I don't. And this is the post that is meant to change all that: Get me ready for the team. Set the stage. And, uh, go. (Testing...testing...)
  2. As at a DJ Shadow show, the first five minutes is like practice, so bear with me as I aspire to the heights achieved by the other masters of mayhem at PK (Sparkles, even.). Now with added peer pressure since we have that peerless Doctor Whophyte, Willie G. visiting so often.**
  3. I am ostensibly here to provide a distinct flavor to the PK experience. Safety advisory for those who run the risk of whiplash when they snag themselves on my posts. They stick out like thorns on a thorny thing. By which I mean:
  4. I hate basketball.
  5. More specifically, you will see that I concern myself with less important topics and concerns--am, myself, concerned with topics of less importance than my PK brethren. No basketball. No poppy culture. And no freaking Nancy Lang.*** I am here to write for you about more trivial items. Tonight's topic:


THE FATE OF ALL MANKIND(TM)



Nobody asked me, but I need to say what I’m thinking in this new year in New York City, five months after the Twin Towers burned, after long stretches of fall weather eerily close to perfect—clear blue skies, shirtsleeve warmth—through December, a bizarre hesitation, as if nature couldn’t get on with it’s life and cycle to the next season, the city enclosed in a fragile, bell-jar calm till shattered by a siren, a plane’s roar overhead.

--John Edgar Wideman, Whose War



The world is going to hell. Or, rather, the slide has been remarkably smooth and consistent this past several years. Like polka-dots just surged back into style****, we've met our war, corruption, mediocrity and apathy quotas with effortless ease. Barely knew we did it, did we? John Stewart has more gray hair than an elephant's ass now and I think it's because the state of the world has gotten so bad that not even he can laugh it off anymore. It's a form of shock and awe: current events based humor isn't based in laughter anymore, just incredulity. Never have so few sacrificed so little for their own greater good that outweighs the needs of the many. Live long and fester. Disillusioned we fall.

Never fear. Like Rapunzel letting down the hair of wisdom from the heights of the Ivory Tower (in Technicolor), I am here to tell you that the luminaries of social science and societal critique have diagnosed the world's ills and prescribed a cure:

Talking.

That's right. In a world gone mad, surrounded on all sides--French to our left, international terrorists to our right, and the Chinese dancing all over the godamned floor with any colored cat that'll fill their card--the privileged percent of the population that gets to read this kind of cheerleading now knows that the thing to do is to convince everyone to just sit down and have a good chat.

I say.

This theory is the brainchild of, among others, Kwame Anthony Appiah, whose gist is basically: Because humans are so incredibly different and diverse, there's no hope for a singular human identity, so we can forget about using that identity as a way of connecting to one another. He often explains this this through the example of his own (non)identity as a gay half-Ghanaian, half-English bloke with Indian, American and Klingon branches on his family tree.***** Ergo, the Miraeryu(TM) is a mixed up batch of humans who are so hodgepdoged in terms of national, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual preference, global, local and Korean songstress affiliations that we we will soon be forced to realize two things: 1) Generalizations that hold water are a thing of the past, not to mention awkward mixed-metaphory like figments of my imagination. 2) Our increasing inability (it's lack of applicability, really) to be able to identify with each other in the traditional ways will lead us to form more cosmopolitan notions and ideals. Sounds good. Sorta. Might be a glitch or two. Tell me if you see them.

The application side to this theory is that the way forward in establishing cosmopolitan ethics is to de-emphasize reaching a consensus: with Muslims, Muppets, Mavericks, Manchesterites and that bastard Michael Bay all inhabiting the same planet, there are just some things, some REALLY important things (as in the ones that people bomb each other over) that we are just never ever ever going to agree on.

So why bother trying?

Appiah and his posse think we would be better served just talking to each other without worrying about reaching a consensus. The idea is that by communicating with each other, we'll be faced with each other's humanity (the thing which, if you recall, he says isn't a real identity at all...), develop empathy for each other and reset to an ethical default. Why do you think the good terrorists never talk to their prisoners? Why was Mr. Zuckerman in denial about Wilbur?

Now, I, and other Buddhists, should be applauding Dr. Appiah for his brilliance (there's even a healthy taste of dukkha in it all). Means not ends, hear-hear! However, I find myself rather asking: What in the bloody hell are you thinking, Kwame??

I don't buy it. I can't. I mean, it's a nice theory and all, but what about the particulars? How long are we supposed to sit down and talk to each other? I can't sit at the same Thanksgiving table for more than an hour with my family, how am I supposed to with the real enemy?****** And a lot of people think this is the way forward. A lot of people. (Mainly in Cambridge and on the Upper West Side.) But I'm not sure it's not more about Wideman's righteous rant. I.e., it's less about people saying things to each other and more about what people feel they just have to say. (Hello, blogging revolution, kinda.) And when what they have to say makes it over to "each other" it isn't always going to jive with the way "each other" thinks this blue marble rolls. Paradigms are a dime a dozen, the only thing you can be sure of is that the insurance policy that came in the box with yours doesn't provide global coverage. So you had better be ready to shift.

Talking is good. But dancing is better. When paradigms collide, people get stuck. Fixed and rigid. When people are fixed and rigid, ain't no amount of chitter-chatter and open-listening gonna help. Hell, a just sublime example of this took place the other week when I was at a seminar on discussion as a means of conflict resolution: three of the academics at my table opted for halt over gestalt and the talks bogged down halfway through the day. The topic we were discussing? Appiah's theories on conversation and cosmopolitanism. When I pointed out the irony of the situation, I was told to get stuffed. Empathy, my patookus.

Talking is essential, but Dancing is fundamental. What I mean to say is:


'Dance,' said the Sheep Man. 'Yougottadance. Aslongasthemusicplays. Yougotta dance. Don'teventhinkwhy. Starttothink, yourfeetstop. Yourfeetstop, wegetstuck. Wegetstuck, you'restuck. Sodon'tpayanymind, nomatterhowdumb. Yougottakeepthestep. Yougottalimberup. Yougottaloosenwhatyoubolteddown. Yougottauseallyougot. Weknowyou'retired, tiredandscared. Happenstoeveryone, okay? Justdon'tletyourfeettop.' ... 'Dancingiseverything,' continued the Sheep Man. 'Danceintip-topform. Dancesoitallkeepsspinning....'

--MH, Dance, Dance, Dance

It's nice to think that talking will save the day, but in the end you are as likely to end up with a brawl as a group-hug (betting types go for the brawl). So let's not kid ourselves about the wonders of the written, spoken, or listened-to word--let's just be ready for anything that comes our way. Because when people have got to say what they've been thinking, you had better be ready to loosen up what you bolted down.

And what does this have to do with you? Well, if you think I'm the only one letting down his locks from the tower you don't know how eager some punters are to shimmy up that ladder of dirty hair and scale the buttresses. For our audience in the World, don't be ambushed by hearing that word "cosmopolitan" bandied about outside of a SATC context, but do expect those doing the bandying to be the same vapid set. For our audience in Korea, read the book now so you can snatch the early openings at the imminent rash of 코스모포리탄 학원s before the maple leaf peril corners the market, just like they did with the Sarah Jessica Parker Academies of the Literally Petty Bourgeois.

And that, by way of an introduction, is my first five minutes of spin. The team is ready. The theme is set. And...


___________________________________

*Hey, the boy gave me a name, what am I supposed to do?

**All I can guarantee is that whatever's off the floor after post-production, it will be better than Dostoevsky. But consider this post the first five minutes of my PK oeuvre. It'll all tie in, fo' sho. (It'll seem less preachy-like too. Gah-run-tea.) For now, to ease the transition, I will footnote smarmily like the brothers.

*** That's more of that damn jealousy, perhaps. I can, however, guarantee there will always be some kimochi smuggled into every post. You show me an intellectual who doesn't like beautiful women, and I'll show you the academic establishment.

**** "Mediocrity is like a spot on your shirt, it never comes off." --MH

***** The last one may have been Kenyan. Semantics.

****** Al-Dostoevsky.

Caveat: I agree with 99.99% of what Appiah writes. But that doesn't sound even half as edgy.