My views on politics, life, death, the army, and other things too miscellaneous to mention here. This is a personal blog. This blog is 100% factual.

Bill Duckwing
Poet, Author, Journalist



03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003
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"There are some myths and untruths surrounding the role God plays in our daily lives. To say that religion and politics do not mix, is certainly a myth, unless you ask a liberal. Anything that affects a Christian (and voting is one of them) — enters into the religious realm. Trying to separate the two is like trying to separate oil from a glass of water, it's impossible to do. "
Tuesday, August 31, 2004  
Republican Convention Day 2

I'll just keep adding updates for this through the night (I'll also put the time next to the update manually to give you a rough idea on when I'm posting). To clarify, I'm watching MSNBC all night, and not really the Convention. There's no way I could get through all of that every evening this week, and no American is acutally going to be watching the whole thing, anyways, so this will be at best a meta thing -my commentaries on the commentaries on MSNBC, and on the Convention itself.

So far, I've seen a lot of spit-shining from the heads on the Republican agenda and platform, which is fine -it's the Republican's Hour, let em shine on their strengths. I worry a bit about some of the commentatiors claiming it's already over for Kerry, though. Don't ask me why, but that feels a bit premature.

Update (19:39 EST): Holy crap, some dude tried to take down Chris Matthews!! Ha Ha! LOL! I actually almost fell asleep with the debate over "quid pro quo" arguments, and I totally thought that if I had to hear the word "traditional" in regards to our First Lady One More Time, I was going to have to lie down and take a short nap. But still, that woke me up. Thanks, angry protester dude!!

Update (20:46 EST): Haven't paid attention to the Convention in an hour or so, but I did hear Chris Matthews interupt some pundie by shouting "Yada Yada Yada!" at them, which seemed to shut them up. Good for Chris. They're doing a Biographical Sketch or Ahnold right now, and I'm checking my pulse. Not so good, I'll check in later if I'm still amoungst the living.

Update (21:06 EST): I find myself slipping ever closer into a state approximating death. Chris Matthews interviewing Rick Santorum has to be the most horribly misguided idea to take up space before an Arnold Schwarzenegger speech ever. I'm listening to Huey Lewis and the News right now on my computer as I type this, drowning out Tom Brokaw, discussing prospects for President in 2008. They need to cut to more commerical breaks, before I slip even further.

Update (21:42 EST): My concentration on the Convention is starting to slip a little as I get more and more sleepy. Please, more Ralph Reed, at least he's CONTROVERSIAL!!! Or is he? Remember way back when when Mr. Reed was like Mr. Satan back in the day of the emergence of the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition? Now, he's just bland, bland, bland. 'Tis shame...(I'm so totally not going to make it to da Schwarz...but I'll try). Keep ya posted!

Update (22:02 EST): Arnold - "Democrats should have called their convention 'True Lies' because I was in a movie called 'True Lies' and I was an actor, and that's pretty fucking funny, laugh damn you!" Or something like that. But what does that mean? My eyelids grow heavier....uh...maybe I should order a triple Espresso from Baja Fresh? Also, Arnold: "Fuck You, Austria!" Well, at least that's a little bit more interesting!

Update (22:10 EST): Uh-oh, somebody's sleeping on the couch tonight! The camera panned over to Maria Shriver, who smirked and didn't applaud when Arnold said "The party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush!!!" Yikes!

Update (22:25 EST): Well, Schwarzenegger has totally gotta stick it to Kerry, and soon, before this gets totally unbearable. Praising Bush is one thing, and great and stuff, but you don't get bonus points if you don't push some Kerry buttons. But I guess that ain't gonna happen this time around, ah well. Better to play it safe, I guess.

Update (22:30 EST): Well, I'm sure it'll be a knockout for Laura and stuff (yeah, even if she does have the creepy 'Stepford Eyes'), but after hearing the Bush twins, I'm like totally done with this for tonight. I mean, I love the Bush twins and stuff, and they really have, like, a great rapport, and stuff, and they are really like into pop culture, but I'm done. Thank you, and I'll be back tomorrow night to deconstruct the Republican convention like live via satellite, or something...

-duckwing, at 7:16 PM

Monday, August 30, 2004  
Even People in New Hampshire Like Politics: a Short Story (of sorts) Starring John Gilcrest

(I kinda statred writing this as a blog entry when the Democratic primaries were still going on in New Hampshire, then shelved it for awhile. Since I don't like anything to go to waste, I edited it a bit, and here it is, in all it's anacronistic glory)

Another four years, and the New Hampshire primaries had come and gone. Snowed into his two bedroom apartment, John Gilcrest lay sprawled on the couch as Chris Matthews bellowed the latest spin on the returns.

Chris: 9% of the returns in, it looks like Kerry has won New Hampshire, and that Dean is in some serious trouble here. Perspective?

A. Pundit: I don’t think Dean has a chance, unless he wins at least one state on Super Tuesday.

B. Pundit: Yes you are absolutely right. I hate John Gilcrest.

A. Pundit: You are absolutely and yet completely correct. I also hate John Gilcrest.

B. Pundit: Then we agree.

A. Pundit: Yes. Then we both hate John Gilcrest.

B. Pundit: He is a phony.

A. Pundit: He is worse than a phony.

Chris: Well there you have it.

And as John Gilcrest lies awake, on his couch, he watches in a trance, warm Miller Lite in hand, as if this is too much information to process. What exactly is going on here? As a young incumbent president well over 54 years ago, he got his ass kicked by Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower. Why was that?

How would he explain it to us? We all know this story in its essence, he'd say. A true "Greatest Story Ever Told," and yes, all great human stories unfortunately end in tragedy. It starts off with a hero, battling demons and evil and all that stuff, making life just a tad more bearable for the everyman and the everywoman, what with the Hyrda and like Satan and all of those crazed devil clowns extinguished from the World, at least for a period of time. But then the hero goes off and sticks 18" needles through his eyes, or fucks his best friend's wife, or just goes off and flies off on a weird trajectory, destination sun, but finishes up in a horrible descent like a spicy molotov cocktail creating yet another canyon off the coast of Canada for the people to worship over and freak out about for yet another millennium.

There's no mystery here, no "why" spoken to question why the heroes fall, and no real decadence. Heroes, even with the sex appeal and war record of a man like John Gilcrest, always lose to lesser men with just a tad more cunning. Like Othello to Iago. Like Howard Dean, hero of the populist politics and the internet, just unfortunately not a war hero. Like John Gilcrest, 115 years old, still alive, still remembering what it meant to be a real Democrat running for President (fisticuffs with Adlai Stevenson, shaking a newpaper with the headline: Dewey Defeats Gilcrest). To John Gilcrest, there's no romance to the political process anymore, just beyond the conveyor belt of the building and slaying of heroes.

But the sting hurts him, now in his twilight years, all the same. The media were harsher back then, running for re-election, than they were now in the present political climate. This was truth. He never imagined a political commentator like Howard Fineman would call a sitting President of the United States "a horrid and lascivious devil that would uproot the ancient whores of Egypt with his forked tongue (if re-elected)" until he heard Fineman utter those very words on Meet the Press.

But nay, Gilcrest thought. If 20th Century American Politics could be compared to your typical Greek tragedy, the interchangeable TV pundits would be the Chorus, speaking in unison and merely observing the action as if it only be interpreted, and never be influenced. Still, what a bunch of trash-talking louts they were.

Not only had they observed the demise of the great Gilcrest Presidency, they had dissolved any trace of its existence. That's the true power of the media -someone has to write the history. No Secret Service treatment for President Gilcrest, no invitations to ex-President gatherings and memorial services. No summit meetings, and no joy in John Gilcrestville.

He chased a shot of bourbon with a big gulp of Miller Lite, which he in turn chased with another shot of bourbon. It burnt his throat with fire as he stared at the tube. Maybe he was schizophrenic, he thought, maybe he had lived another life, a life he had apparently forgotten, and US History was right after all.

But that's not true, he thought, remembering yesterday when a lady, well past her prime yet not quite as ancient as himself, had spoken to him as he hobbled his way to the bus stop.

"Hello, are you John Gilcrest?"

"I am."

"My father voted for you in the Democratic primaries! He could never stop talking about you and what you did for our country! Wow!"

"Okay." John Gilcrest said, neglecting his cane to double-fist two brown paper bags. "They say that bourbon can be administered intravenously!"

"Wow!" the woman said, "Sign me up!"

"Modern Medicine is a marvel, my little chickadee..." he said as his nose flushed red and his eyes twinkled.

His eyes stopped twinkling when a bus filled with the dead and pestilent stopped to pick the woman up at the bus stop. After she boarded the bus, it vanished into thin air.

John Gilcrest's wife had been dead for at least 40 years, so there was no one left to remind him of who he once was.

He stared again at the tube, trying to remember, trying to figure. John Kerry. George Bush.

Egad, he thought. Did heroics and politics still mix?

to be continued (maybe)...

-duckwing, at 11:34 PM

Republican Convention Day 1

Well, the big story tonight I guess is that Michael Moore was at the Convention and got booed a lot. McCain's mention of of "disingeneous filmmakers" sparked off a cheery round of boos, to which Michael Moore joyously lol'ed and waved to the crowd. I stopped listening to John McCain after that.

Ron Silver did a good job, the only problem was that he didn't really lay out a case for why Republicans cared more about terrorism then Democrats (specifically Bush over Kerry). But I don't think that was really his whole point. Good speech, anyway.

That's my take. Nothing too weird yet, although I've only been partially listening, etc. That fat guy yelling out, "Live From New York, it's the Republican Convention," was pretty funny (and I mean that in the sense that it was probably the lamest thing I've ever seen on live television). I have a really bad feeling that the whole convention is going to be about 9.11 and the War on Terrorism. Which is all good, very positive, plays on some of the Republicans strengths. But I'm not sure that's going to be enough this year. It's going to be super tough to knock the Democrats on that platform, which is what they really need to do to keep them on the defensive.

They're been talk on MSNBC that "Republicans aren't afraid to attack like the Democrats are" so I assume they'll be taking the offensive soon enough. Just not tonight. Low key, patriotic, boring as all hell. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Edit: Well, yeah the keynote speaker Rudy Giuliani took the offensive. The pundits were pretty taken up about it, but boiled down, it was a extension of the 9/11 terroist "Thank God Bush was in the White House" thing combined with "Heh, Kerry's a flip-flopper." I don't see that converting too many people, but y'know who knows. I think Bush has to give the speech of his life to see any real kind of jump in the polls after this convention, but that's just me.

-duckwing, at 10:24 PM

Friday, August 27, 2004  

Finally did away with Bloglinker, which was a fairly decent link system and link-swapper back in the day, but has increasingly been just a tool where loan companies can put their advertisements onto blogs with the blogslinker system on it without even linking to Bloglinker on their own sites. So I'm done with it, but it was fun while it lasted.

-duckwing, at 8:18 AM

Thursday, August 26, 2004  
Who's Totally Fucking Ripped For the Republican National Convention??

You know I am. The only thing I'm totally not fucking psyched out about is the fact that only 95% of the speakers that will be speaking at the Republican National Convention are Republican. There's a Democrat there (Zell Miller, from Georgia??) too, but the Republican party is the inclusive party. So Zell Miller should fucking convert, man, because then the Republican National Convention will be 100%, which is all that really matters.

If only it would be televised. I would take some sick time off work to catch it, but I don't get cable, so I'm going to miss out on a lot of it.Well, ya know what they say. The (Conservative) revolution will not be televised. Where the hell did that come from? What, is revolution performance art? Will I be forced to leave my apartment to see the revolution?

But I'm still psyched, because I think the networks are going to televise George Bush's convention speech. I wonder what he's going to say?

That fucking freeper picture man...WOW!

You know what would be great -photoshop ads of George Bush from speeches, dinners, whatever public appearences he's made in the last four years (which might be kinda tough, actually). Just make sure the only color of his suit and the background is completely and totally the American flag. And then have some yahoo voiceover "YEAH!!! KICK SOME ASS FOR ME GEORGE BUSH!!! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED MOTHERFUCKERS!" -and that'd be about all it would take. Hail to the Chief, John Forbes Kerry.

Was going to do a short write up of appreciation for Harpers this month, but I just ran out of time and energy tonight. Harpers has always been my favorite magazine, overall, but this issue is pretty exceptional even for them. They have a horrible website, though, so pick one up at the newstand.

-duckwing, at 10:13 PM

LiveJournal Entry

Yeah, this will be the first of one of my periodic "livejournal" type entries on this blog known as The Apple Coda, so feel free to sigh and scroll past this entry if you don't want to really get into my emotional life and stuff. It's pretty complicated, as I'm sure you can imagine. And complicated (and confusing, but I'm making far too many digressions here for tonight, and I do apologize, and will apologize profusely to anyone who gets too angry about paranthetical digressions when reading text, but sometimes it's the only way to convey in writing (which, and let us be honest here, is a limited medium in which you can convey how you're feeling emotionally) that which truly needs to be said). But let's face it, life is full of complications and difficulties, and sometimes the only way to get this stuff "out there" is to post it on the internet. Sometimes, it's just the only outlet out there where the people will understand and respect you just for emoting your true feelings. It's a shame, really, but I guess that's just the way things turned out here in the Twenty-First century, that the only real way to connect with people is through the internet, and I'm going to take what I can get.

With that, do you ever feel like you're being eaten alive by bugs? Sometimes I feel that way, in the morning when I hit the snooze alarm 50 times before getting off my air matress to get ready for work. It sucks. It feels like things are crawling all over your skin at 6:00 AM in the morning, and in a way it's good, as I keep losing weight. Maybe I have tape worms, because I keep eating a lot, and really fatty stuff, like cheeseburgers and french fries soaked in mayonnaise. I go to McDonalds at least a couple of times a day, and usually order a pizza or two at night just to tide me over so I don't have the night terrors. Yeah, maybe I have tape worms, but all over my body.

I stood up all night a couple of days ago to get my coupons for Krispy Kreme the other day. That was rough. I took a shitload of No-Doz six hours before I got off the station, which made me feel like I was suffocating, or at least hyperventilating really bad. But it was cool because a ton of hippies stopped by to keep us entertained with glow sticks at night. I stood in line for the opening near the Dupont Circle station for about 20 hours, but it was definitely worth it. So you can add Krispy Kreme to my list of confort foods for me and my bugs.

Anyway, I'm going to bed now. Until next time, over and out.

-duckwing, at 12:50 AM

Wednesday, August 25, 2004  
Songs to Wear Pants To

One of the most eccentric websites I've come across is Songs to Wear Pants To -the webmasters write short songs based on fan suggestions. The Soulful Super Mario Theme Remix Remix (right click, save target as) is absolutely weird and interesting with the minor key variations and the "rap" at the end (eh?)

-duckwing, at 10:18 PM

Tuesday, August 24, 2004  

Yeah I know it's been awhile, so long that I have yet to get used the the new Blogger layout for editing (what, can't hyperlink? and keep writing? Holy fuck!) Anyway, I figured I'd write a bit, let people who are inexplicably still visiting this site to know that I'm still alive and aware of the fact that I have a blog, and whatever other conclusions you'd like to draw from it.

First off, where I been: I've had an extremely busy and crazy and tiring summer. I got a single apartment in DC proper, saw a good friend of mine get hitched, and my job has put me into supermondo overdrive towards fitting me a promotional position at my company. I have also kept my writing skills up offline, and while I missed most of the Democratic Convention (fuck you Network TV), I did catch Obama's speech (Holy COW!! And I mean that...I was socked in the head with it, really, and goosebumps gourmet) , although I missed most of John Kerry's speech after the "Reporting for Duty..." thing because I got really sleepy and this was despite a reoccuring migrane that kept me up half the night or maybe it was really for about 10 minutes or so with halucinations and fever dreams of POW's in Cambodia (but they kept saying they were nowhere near Cambodia), but eventually I did sleep soundly.

Anyway, offline, I wrote a piece for the Washington City Paper, called "The Nineteen Best Espresso Bars in DC After Midnight, or: I drank 23 triple shots of espresso in 5 hours. What?" which was rejected by the editor. But it was kinda cool, because they called me "crazy" and said "we don't publish fiction" that I "have way too much time on my hands." I shot them an email back, "What?" I asked.

I haven't gotten a response back, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Anyway, a few sub-topics:

What?: By far, and I mean by far, my favorite word in the English language. You have no idea. There is no word out there that can completely destroy your life faster and more efficiently that saying "What" to everything that is said to you. Say "what" enough, and sooner than you can say the word itself you've lost your career, your friends, your girlfriend, your internet celebrity, and finally your life, bludgeoned out of you by some guy just asking for directions to World Bank. I had used the word as a screensaver for awhile in 3d custom desk until Windows got sick of me and changed the text back to "Microsoft Windows" (this part is actually true, as inexplicable as it might sound. What...)

Swift Boat Party Vietnam: Given the fact that I was born decades after the war in Vietnam, it is of course the most important issue to me this election year. I want to care so much about wars that happened in the past and don't reflect an iota on current foreign policy. I want to kick some of the old Commie butt I missed out on the first time around. And I certainly want to hear a ton of a lot more ketchup jokes that Kerry laughs his hearty laugh at and pretends like he's heard them for the first time (Daily Show tonight, just caught it). See, the problem with the youth today is, that they we're there in the 60's, and they weren't exposed to the War, or the draft card and bra burnings, or Abbie Hoffman when he wore that crazy shirt made out of like the Hemp American flag or something, or tear gas (more common than , or the street riots after MLK's assasination, or the Beatles. We're too out of touch with the Baby Boomer generation, don't know what those future leaders of America went through. It was tough, it was really crazy. They took mind-expanding drugs, with us younger folks don't know anything about because we were too fucked up on crack and methamphetamines. But there's still hope that the lessons learned by our parents in Vietnam may still yet be learned by us, because every four years a magical moment arises which brings us all just a little closer to achiving a little perspective on history: a Presidential Election.

So, yeah, I'm back. Stay up late at night, and check it out, but don't do any drugs this election year that John Kerry himself wouldn't do.

-duckwing, at 10:48 PM

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