overhaul / undertow

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

"Americans are fatter — and drunker"

I love this article and its headline. Let's deconstruct, shall we?


Americans are fatter — and drunker
MSNBC/ Reuters

[Fatter and drunker than who? Or than when? Than when...we instituted Prohibition? Fatter and drunker than when we colonized New England? That's not news. Everybody knows we were totally emaciated and god-fearing back then. Fatter and drunker than Europeans? Oh sure. Those freaks drink wine with LUNCH. Also, this declaration is almost...celebratory. Is Reuters proud of this? It sounds like it.]

MORE THAN one in five American adults could be classified as obese in 2001, up almost 6 percent from the year before. And more than one in four Americans engage in bouts of binge drinking — defined as five or more drinks at one sitting with the goal of getting drunk — up 35 percent from 1995.
“I guess you could say we’re fat and drunk,” said Timothy Naimi, a researcher at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, summarizing a pair of studies based on a huge telephone survey of more than 200,000 adults.

[Very astute, Tim.]

“We’re a society that is somewhat taken with excesses,” Naimi said.

[Oh c'mon, Tim. You can't seriously be saying we're enamored with the idea that bigger is better, can you?]

The studies’ publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association was timed by the journal to coincide with the revelry associated with New Year’s eve.

[You guys suck. Way to ruin a party, AMA. Next you'll be telling us red meat is unhealthy or something.]

Drinking to get drunk is more prevalent among men than women, with men accounting for 81 percent of the 1.5 billion binge-drinking episodes in 2001, it said.

[Wonder what that has to do with the possibility of being conscripted. Hmm. I don't know about those stats. I bet women get loaded just as often but don't go bragging about it.]

Roughly half of adult Americans do not drink at all.


Efforts to stem binge drinking might find a parallel in anti-smoking campaigns that seem to be working, Naimi said.

[Note to Mr. Naimi: Why do all my friends still smoke? I'm concerned about your reasoning here, sir.]

Too often, Naimi said, heavy drinking episodes are accepted as a joke or heralded as a badge of courage, and ebullient liquor advertising too often targets the young. The growing fad of “supersizing” bar drinks has become as common as fast-food franchises’ expanded portions of fatty French fries.

[Those things are great. I have very little money. I appreciate a good value.]

Obesity is another killer, and its prevalence among U.S. adults nearly doubled in the past decade to 21 percent of adults, the CDC researchers said.
Obesity has been declared a global problem by the World Health Organization, and 45 percent of adults in some oil-rich Persian Gulf nations are obese, study author Ali Mokdad said.

{The World Health Organization yet again makes a strikingly accurate declaration of the obvious. Why do we pay these people?]

“We drive longer distances, everything is done by machines, we spend all our time on computers,” Mokdad said by way of explaining the fattening of some Americans. Eating healthy foods requires effort, he said, while eating a bad diet is relatively inexpensive.

[No shit. Really?]

Excess fat, like alcohol abuse, causes a host of related health problems, the researchers said. “Each year, an estimated 300,000 U.S. adults die of causes related to obesity, and diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death,” Mokdad wrote.

[Gross. Americans need to get their ass in gear. We are the biggest overconsumers on the planet: of oil, water, food, all resources. Get a grip, people. This is not the brave new wonderful world that you see in Visa commercials and ads for AOL. Take off those little Starbucks-logo-emblazoned blinders you've got on and see the world for what it is: its wealth being plundered and its people being damaged so huge corporations can sell their shitty products to your fat ass.
I'm not saying I'm some paragon of physical fitness and responsible behavior, 'cos I'm not. I drink too much. In fact, I am one of those occasional binge drinkers this article talks about. But I don't think the world owes me a tank full of gas and a steak. I try to make responsible purchases, even if it's just the fucking napkins in my kitchen and non-genetically modified food. I try to involve myself with organizations that do good work and improve the well-being of the community.

I also throw out my recyclables though, 'cause it's too much trouble to find a local recycling center. So maybe I'm just full of shit.
Happy new year.

Auld Lang Syne

from the LA Weekly, their year-end "List Issue." These were the ones I felt like I could have written. Well, these and the one about the ten worst hangovers.

Places I Saw People Use Their Turn Signals, 2002

1. Laurel Canyon Boulevard & Fountain Avenue (twice).
2. Exiting parking lot at Rock & Roll Ralphs (then car sped through crosswalk with mother and child in stroller crossing).
3. Turning into Gymboree parking lot, Sherman Oaks.
4. 101 to 110-south offramp, though indicating opposite direction.
5. Hollywood Boulevard eastbound, turning south on Las Palmas (me).
6. Sunset & Las Palmas, later that same year — Angelyne.
7. Mulholland, turning right (west) from Woodrow Wilson — pretty sure it was Quentin Tarantino, or possibly Queen Latifah.
8. Sunset & La Brea, eastbound black car running red light (and not turning).
9. Mangled Honda on its side, Gardner & Hollywood.
—Libby Molyneaux


Home of the Brie: A HATER RATES 2002
By Steven Mikulan

1. Comeback of the Year: Swingers. Just when you thought swingin' couples had gone the way of lava lamps and Nehru jackets, they came back like . . . lava lamps and Nehru jackets. Lurid courtroom details about Danielle van Dam's parents' yen for group sex inside their garage and dirty dancing at Poway's unforgettably named Dad's Café & Steakhouse reminded us that carnal swap meets still exist. The San Diego Union-Tribune eagerly sketched the area's swinger topography: "With names like Club Exchange, La Villa and Club CB, they host parties almost every weekend in Oceanside, San Diego, Encinitas, Escondido, Fallbrook and elsewhere. There are two clubs in Temecula, a tract-home community of 67,000 people." Suddenly, "behind the green door" meant a garage entrance to a suburban split-level.

2. Worst Thing Seen at a Movie Theater: KCRW Trailers. These insufferable commercials follow the journey of the radio station's idealized listener-explorer — some dweeb traipsing around the planet wearing a headset that sprouts milelong tentacles pumping him, no doubt, with KCRW's trademark techno-lite, snorey world music and fake rave noise.

3. Cheapest Way To Landscape Pearblossom Highway: Just let people keep maintaining their family car-crash shrines.

4. Most Hideous Sculpture: Any one of the angel statues that littered the sidewalks of L.A. this year and last. The creepy fiberglass figures were sponsored by A Community of Angels, which, for a fee, placed the abjects d'art in front of sponsoring businesses. These painterly equivalents of macramé art are now up for sale: "Full Size 6'4" Angels beginning at only $2000!!!" the community's Web site brays. "20-inch Angel Artist Originals starting at $300." What ever happened to the separation of Church and Taste?

5. Most Egregious Tchotchkes: Interchangeable cell-phone faceplates. (Second place: Interchangeable mouse covers.) If ever there was a reason to bring back 1950s dinner-table guilt, this is it. While much of the world goes to bed hungry with AIDS and within sight of an American PX, we are blessed with the right to spend $35 a pop on faceplates that express our ever-changing moods. "Get creative!" the ads order, and we click our heels obediently — but creatively.

6. Likeliest New Piece of Legislation: Caitlin's Law. Would mandate harsher sentences for the kidnapping of young adults who look like minors.

7. 2002's Most Bizarre "Outing": New York Post writer Steve Dunleavy's exposé of Sammy the Bull Gravano in the columnist's fawning eulogy of John Gotti. Here's how Dunleavy, the Teflon Don's Boswell, suavely attacked his hero's betrayer, who has been accused of committing 19 murders: "Murder No. 19 . . . was a man whose name I will not disclose because of the embarrassment it might cause his widow. It was a man who, it was alleged, had a homosexual affair with Gravano. Gravano whacked him in case the man confirmed Gravano swung both ways." Smooth, Steve — and chivalrous.

8. Most Salutary 9/11 Effect on TV Programming: No more imploding-buildings footage on the 6 o'clock news.

9. Most Paranoid Security Precautions: This year's Academy Awards show. Honestly, you would have thought that Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue had become the president's private putting green — there was that much heat on it last March 24. Still, this year's Palm Sunday Oscars enabled plain Hollywood folk — unemployed ushers, families, drunks from the Powerhouse — to catch glimpses of Russell Crowe and a celebrity impostor named Scoobie Davis, who drove his rented '57 Chevy deep into the Kodak Theater's security maw pretending to be "Owen Wilson's illegitimate brother." Needless to say, this was also the best place to spot the latest cell-phone faceplates.

10. 2002's Most Suspicious Coincidence: George W. Bush's prostate examination and the search for Dick Cheney's missing Rolex.

Friday, December 27, 2002

I have lousy days too, asshole

There's a blog on Blogger called "Extreme Anguish."

Oh, get over it, fer Chrissakes.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002


Crime Watch: Woman doesn't have time for robber

The Leaf-Chronicle


A 37-year-old woman on a tight schedule Sunday avoided being robbed of $60 she'd withdrawn from an ATM machine on Fort Campbell Boulevard.

The woman told Officer Linda Caver a man approached her while she made the transaction and shouted, "Give me that money." She said he had a gun tucked in the waistband of his pants.

The victim told Caver she then hit the suspect with her car door and told him she "didn't have time for this right now" before driving away.

merry winter holiday that celebrates the winter solstice.

woo wee!

Thursday, December 19, 2002

The US is now interning middle-eastern boys and men ages 16 and up.

Sounds impossible? Antiquated?

Sadly, despicably, disgustingly, no.

Here's the LA Times coverage: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-register19dec19,0,436924.story?coll=la%2Dhome%2Dheadlines

...and from the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2589317.stm

Plus coverage by indymedia sources: http://la.indymedia.org/#349

From the LA Times:

"These people came in voluntarily. They wanted to comply with the law. This is the worst violation of human rights."

Most of those detained posted bail, but now face deportation hearings.

Under the registration program, men who are required to register are photographed, fingerprinted and interviewed. Citizens of 13 other countries -- North Korea and 12 Middle Eastern and North African nations -- will be required to register by Jan. 10. Men from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan who are in the United States on temporary visas are required to register in February.

"If they were terrorists, they would not show up to the INS for the registration," said Babak Sotoodeh, a Santa Ana attorney who emigrated from Iran.

"We ran away from the Ayatollah and the [radical] Islam. We are very patriotic in the United States," Sotoodeh said. "Why are we being targeted? It's a total irony."

One attorney, who said he saw a 16-year-old pulled from the arms of his crying mother, called it madness to believe that the registration requirements would catch terrorists.

"His mother is 6 1/2 months pregnant. They told the mother he is never going to come home — she is losing her mind," said attorney Soheila Jonoubi, who spent Wednesday amid the chaos of the downtown INS office attempting to determine the status of her clients.

Jonoubi said that the mother has permanent residence status and that her husband, the boy's stepfather, is a U.S. citizen. The teenager came to the country in July on a student visa and was on track to gain permanent residence, the lawyer said.

Many objected to the treatment of those who showed up for the registration. INS ads on local Persian radio stations and in other ethnic media led many to expect a routine procedure. Instead, the registration quickly became the subject of fear as word spread that large numbers of men were being arrested.

Lawyers reported crowded cells with some clients forced to rest standing up, some shackled and moved to other locations in the night, frigid conditions in jail cells — all for men with no known criminal histories.

Shawn Sedaghat, a Sherman Oaks attorney, said he and his partner, Michelle Taheripour, represent more than 40 people who voluntarily went to register and were detained.

Some, he said, were hosed down with cold water before finding places to sleep on the concrete floors of cells.

"I came to this country over 40 years ago and got drafted in the Army, and I thought if I die it's for a good cause, defending freedom, democracy and the Constitution," said George Hassan, 65, from the San Fernando Valley.

"Oppressed people come here because of that democracy, that freedom, that Constitution. Now our president has apparently allowed the INS vigilantes to step outside the Constitution."


This is revolting.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

absolute fucking mayhem

Go here ( http://originalfools.com/denzoner/saintDick.wmv ) to view the awesome video of Santacon. We also took over entire intersections, a Hooters, one sex shop, five bars, Cheetah's strip club, and two shopping centers (the video shows only one of these stops--The Grove off of Fairfax, which desperately needed its consumer-mecca cherry popped). By the end of the day we'd conquered the fucking city.

There were 233 of us, and we were all loaded by 10:00 a.m. We left from the House of Pies in three double decker-busses (plus one coach bus with a bathroom, which we ALL wished we were on by noon) and stopped traffic everywhere. Much mooning and Santa-stripteasing went on from the tops of the busses, especially on the freeways, and despite the fact that we were unabashedly irreverant and NC-17 (many of us bought fun Santa props at the sex shop, including a large blow-up doll who accompanied us throughout the rest of our trip, from Old Town Pasadena to Chinatown and Olvera Street thru Hollywood to The Grove ) many people were still happy to see us and waved like complete goofballs. None of these locations knew we were coming, and it was a critical-mass overrunning of all security personnel and nonplussed shoppers everywhere we went. It's gotta be quite bizarre to by mildly shopping for your bitchy coworkers and your annoying sister's bratty kids, your own child tugging on your arm, and then all the sudden be swarmed by two-hundred and thirty-odd Santas, all of them roaring drunk and obnoxious.

With this send-up of the stupidity of our society's approach to what was SUPPOSED to be a holiday to celebrate faith, religion and family but was transformed into a debacle of consumerism and one-upmanship now complete, we are thinking about possibly another go. Maybe we will all dress up as Jesus for Easter. That would be hella funny.

New prose on prosety.

I put it there 'cos it's pretty fucking abstract and didn't seem quite as suited for the blog.

luv, michele.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Currently playing: Levitate pt. 2 by Idaho

LA hunkers down under the rain now.

I drove to work this morning before it started. It is a mild rain. Still, the evening news will yell on yammering about it interviewing the citizenry ("Yeah, wow. I had to turn my wipers on high..." "Yeah, I brought an umbrella in the car today...") and will repetitively feature the same stock shots of suv's four-wheeling it over medians in sloshing intersections.

But LA secretly loves the rain. We bitch, we moan and complain, but we stick to the lurid details on the television, magnetically charged by the shifting air pressures; the city needs constant redemptions and cleansings, its buildings gone grey with dust from too many trucks headed west out of the central parts of our leftward-leaning nation; the manifest destiny, too many of us running as far and as fast as we can and causing the earth to sink and shudder beneath our weight; and every locked-straight streetcorner is screaming for clarity, stumbling on the trail of a confessional, a dousing, with no real river to wash over us--

The city is a desperate pentinent before the rain, and the crazy red flowers in the cemetery, slowly soaking through basketed bouquets of poinsetta and juniper sopping and brilliantly vivid against the gray air, randomly here and there, the single canting christmas tree stuck atop one headstone, slanted and keeling, an incongruous pine iceberg atop a placid damp sea of grass, its tinsel made dull by the clouded low-light, giving the lie to what is beneath.

Friday, December 13, 2002

fun and entertainment courtesy of The Dumb

"Selected responses from an online petition to Wal-Mart stores, urging them
to continue selling handgun ammunition."


Thanks for sending me this, Jake--how'd you know I'd dig this?

Stupid people and poor spelling: hours of endless amusement.

Color me an elitist snobby bastard all you want. I'm having fun here.

Hi all. Sorry it's been so long since I posted. I've just been going thru a lot and feeling pretty schmecky. When things stabilize (heh) I'll be back in my usual posting mode.

luv, michele.