Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Screw Thanksgiving

I'd like to say worse about Thanksgiving right away, but I guess it wouldn't do to title my latest rant, "FUCK THANKSGIVING." Allow me to explain.

I'm a first generation American, and proud of it. My folks came to this country to study and make a better life. Through a lot of hard work they got a good life. My pop worked his ass off, and he died to give me a better life than what he could have had if he had stayed in Korea. A little over 14 years ago, my pop passed away from a protracted battle with Colo-Rectal cancer. I saw that once proud man die by inches. He passed away on 21 November 1996 - a few days before Thanksgiving.

When I was a college freshman in 1985, I had to go to a local hospital for a check up. Simon's Rock of Bard College is a small liberal arts school in the Berkshires, and they didn't have the facilities, so I had to take a van ride to get sorted out. On top of that, I was 16 at the time (don't ask), so driving a van was not in question. An older student named Kevin Hodges drove me there, and his girlfriend drove on the way back. Unfortunately on the way back to campus, there was a serious accident. If I had been sitting 6 inches to the right, my head would have been cleaved in two by the guard rail that impaled the van. I was knocked unconscious and when I came to, I saw that Kevin was knocked out of the van. I later found out that he had been DOA with a big hole in his aorta. That was on Thanksgiving. On top of that, right after I came to, it took about 15 minutes before someone stopped to see if they could help. There's a van impaled on a fucking guard rail, and nobody stopped for 15 minutes. I guarantee you - Thanksgiving has had a whole different meaning for me since then, but even before the accident, Thanksgiving didn't mean shit to me.

As a kid, I lived in lots of different places where there weren't a whole lot of people who looked like me. I assimilated fairly well wherever I lived, however, but holidays like Thanksgiving always pissed me the fuck off. Let me get this right - a group of white people try to escape religious persecution in Europe and head off for the new world. They settle in an area completely ill-equipped to survive and depend upon the kindness of those who lived there. In return, these people raped, pillaged, and decimated these natives. They started a culture of bum-rushing natives off the land they had, but they were kind enough to leave them with tasty smallpox and other treats.

And I'm supposed to celebrate this by eating a fucking turkey, pumpkin pie with marshmallows, cranberry sauce, and shitloads of other stuff that I normally wouldn't eat any other time of the year? I'm supposed to eat like a fucking pig when people are starving around the world? FUCK and NO. Even before I went vegan, I never liked turkey. My mother is a great cook (no matter how much I kid her) but she never liked preparing turkey. I grew up thinking that most people ate turkey during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now if you like eating turkey throughout the year, that's one thing, but it's pretty goddamn mean spirited to go out of your way to whack a bird and eat it when you normally wouldn't just because it's part of some bullshit tradition. On top of that, it's fucking stupid. I'm not helping celebrate a bunch of hypocrites as part of a cultural tradition almost 4 centuries old that has NO bearing on my life. I don't remember there even being a lot of Koreans on the Mayflower. If Miles Standish was Miles Kim or Miles Chung, then I could see how some might see a connection between Koreans, turkey, and giblet gravy, but nope. Not my fucking ancestors, not my fucking tradition, and don't shove that horseshit down my throat.

After all I've been through, I'm thankful every goddamn day I'm above ground. I'm thankful for my girlfriend Dawn, my friends, my mother, and my pets. I don't need some bullshit holiday to remind me of that.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hello, I'm Korean and I love Donuts, but WTF?

Recently on The Travel Channel, there was a special on donuts. I was drooling like Homer Simpson. I fucking love donuts, but as I'm still trying to drop some weight, I gotta stay away from donuts.

Then there's also the added problem of some ingredients not being vegan. I'd have to check, but it's a fair assumption to make that unless specified, most confections are made with traditional necrovore-friendly sugar. That is to say sugar bleached through the charred remains of animal bones.


Then I saw this list of Most Unusual Dunkin Donuts from Around the World. The list starts off on a great note with Mojito and Banana Daiquiri flavor donuts, but shit goes downhill real fucking fast. I have a few questions:

1) Who would have thought that Dunkin Donuts had such a stranglehold on the world?
2) Do cops from other countries have their own favorites?
3) Did NOBODY in Dunkin Donuts R&D get the fucking memo that Koreans + donuts = fail?

To back up my last question, I present this evidence:

Yes, that's not only a Garlic Donut, but a Garlic GLAZED Donut.
But that's not the worst part.

This is.

A Kimchee-Filled Donut. Sweet Sonny Chiba, WHAT THE BLESSED FUCK?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Sentiments Exactly, Dude

This was taken from the infamous "Episode III: Backstroke of the West," or "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" translated into Chinese by a bunch of crackheads. English subtitles were done by more crackheads, and some enterprising jackass took out the Chinese language track, and added back in the original English language track. Oh yeah - the also added bogus timecode bars up top to make it look like an official workprint.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Patrick Pogan Is a Moron and Deserves Hard Time

According to this New York Times article, FORMER NYPD rookie cop Patrick Pogan, Jr. testified a line of bullshit about why he cross-checked bicyclist Christopher Long during a Critical Mass roving bicycle advocacy rally on July 25th, 2008. The facts of this case aren't as subject to interpretation as Patrick Pogan Jr's defense would like because THE FACTS were recorded and posted to YouTube.

Allow me to clarify a couple of points here and add some facts that John Eligon, the author of the New York Times article, was either unaware of or decided not to include. The Pogan family has been a part of the NYPD for two generations before Patrick Jr. took a steaming dump on his family name. In fact, his father was not only a highly decorated NYPD cop, but he served on the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Patrick Sr. was recognized by federal law enforcement agencies for his work after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. You'd think that with that sort of legacy, Patrick Jr. would have known what to do. Christ, at the time he fucked up, Patrick Jr. was living with his father.

Patrick Jr. was only on his 11th day on the job (having graduated from the New York Police Academy on or about July 14th, 2008) when he bum rushed Christopher Long. Patrick Jr. was assigned to the Midtown South precinct, an area of New York City that is generally light in bona fide criminal threats. It is generally considered to be a cake walk. Patrick Jr's defense claimed that Mr. Long was on a direct collision course for him and that he was being abusive, screaming, and flipping both middle fingers to the him. Determining the exact extent of his claims isn't going to be too tough because there's video evidence. On top of that, Patrick Jr's partner (or at the least another cop) was standing further into traffic than Junior was, and he didn't flip out and fuck up a cyclist. Gee - maybe he wasn't a FUCKING MORON, Patty boy.

Mr. Eligon paints a rather distorted picture of both Patrick Pogan, Jr. and Christopher Long by presenting completely irrelevant facts about both parties. Yes, Christopher Long struck and killed an elderly pedestrian with his car in North Carolina. Was he driving a car when Patrick jr. beat him out of traffic in 2008? Nope. Was he even riding his bike recklessly? NOPE. Christopher Long also was discharged from the US Army for testing positive for marijuana. Was he stoned when Patty boy smacked him off his bike in 2008? NOPE. But hey, Patty boy was an emergency medical technician who saved the life of a 56 year old man from cardiac arrest. Guess what, Patty boy? THAT WAS YOUR FUCKING JOB. What the fuck - do you want a cookie and a pat on the back for doing your job as an EMT? Should I buy you a drink? Considering what a dumbass he was and how quickly he fucked up his career with the NYPD, I'm surprised he knows which end of a syringe to put in someone.

Mr. Eligon also stated that Patrick Jr. also was an altar boy. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. Wow. So there was a good chance that he could have been molested. I guess we should give him a cookie for that, right Mr. Eligon? In fact, at NO POINT WHATSOFUCKINGEVER does Mr. Eligon make any mention of the fact that Patrick Pogan Sr. is a legitimate New York Police Hero. How the fuck isn't this relevant? Maybe because people might wonder how could a hero cop have such a dumb fucking kid? He didn't mention that at the time, Christopher Long was a green grocer in New York City's Union Square and had long been regarded as quiet and mild mannered. Yeah, that's not relevant either. Mr. Eligon.

If convicted, Patrick Pogan, Jr. faces up to 4 years in prison. You might think there's no way a former NYPD cop is gonna do that length of time, but then again you might think there's no way even a rookie cop could be that fucking dumb. I hope he not only does time but gets ass raped, shanked, and ass raped some more . Fuck you Patrick Pogan, jr. And Patrick Sr? Fuck you twice for not pulling out and glazing your wife's face instead of giving birth to a disgrace of a cop.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hell Can't Be Painful Enough for Daryl Gates

Back in the mid-90s during my time as a book editor, I was invited to attend a software rollout event at a midtown Manhattan hotel. The software line was Sierra Online, and they were responsible for titles like "Leisure Suit Larry," "King's Quest," and "Gabriel Knight," (I'm old enough to remember Sierra Online from their seminal titles for the Apple II Plus). They had released a series of police thriller games called "Police Quest." In 1995, the first four games were re-released with the dubious cache of a celebrity cop endorsement.

Daryl Gates.

As in "Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates" who guarded the City of Angels literally with an iron grip during the Rodney King riots.

I have no fucking idea why Sierra Online thought it would be a good idea to have one of the biggest, dirtiest, least ethical cops to be the spokeswhore for a computer game. That's like having a fucking Nazi in the Vatican.

Oh wait.

At that software show, I watched a monitor showing off gameplay from a "Police Quest" game, and I felt grossly uneasy. The only way I could describe it was I sincerely felt a disturbance in the Force, and it was standing right behind me. It was Daryl Gates. He explained to me the "pioneering" work he had done with SWAT teams. He thought a double tap wasn't good enough, and he proceeded to poke me in both shoulders and the forehead to demonstrate a "triple tap" to effectively and permanently drop a target with three bullets.

I felt nauseated that he touched me and I was debating bludgeoning him in a room full of witnesses before I pitched him out the window, down a couple floors and into Midtown Manhattan traffic.

But today I read on that Daryl Gates died from bladder cancer. I hope it was fucking painful, and it's appropriate that one of the biggest pricks in law enforcement died from problems with his pecker.

Burn in Hell, Daryl Gates. You have left an indelible stain on any cop around the world. Burn in Hell motherfucker.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shatner 2.0 Maybe?

I've heard an ugly rumor that there's supposed to be a "T.J. Hooker" movie. I'm not fucking around. I mean if "Rise of the Dragon" is going to be for all intents and purposes a sacrilegious remake/update/reboot of "Enter the Dragon," then why not a fatassed Cannuck gripping onto a car hood for dear life....AGAIN?

For one thing, I doubt that there is a mass production level of vehicular shock suspension short of the military that could support the greatness that is Shatner. By "greatness," I mean "hypnotically morbidly obese ass crack."

While Shatner languishes in cable television Hell with his "edgy" face-to-face interview show, he at least had the smarts not to take part of J.J. Abrams' batter-fried glitter dipped demon cock that is the "Star Trek" reboot. How massive was this clusterfuck of special effects, Wagnerian music, and childhood memory assrape? It was so massive that Harlan Ellison (one of the most iconic figures in the Star Trek firmament and the man who wrote the "City on the Edge of Forever" script) said he'd love to work with J.J. Abrams on a sequel. For those who don't know, Harlan Ellison is an angry old fucker with unimpeachable genre writing history. He's long bristled at the pervasive insistence that he as a writer must use technology more advanced than his MANUAL typewriter. I lost all respect for Harlan Ellison when I heard that, and when I heard that Shatner resisted the lure of being in one more "Star Trek" movie, I gained a little bit more respect for one of the greatest singers of our time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Organic Vegan Tofu Summer Rolls

After whipping up a Thai-inspired noodle dish, I decided to take things a couple steps further and attempt Summer Rolls and not Spring Rolls because I was trying to stay as far away from deep fried as possible. As Dennis Hopper said in a "Saturday Night Live" opening monologue, "There was always one thing I stayed away from - fried food. Laugh now, but that last donut killed Elvis."

To tweak my earlier recipe, work from that, but with the following adjustments. Read through this recipe from beginning to end before starting because some of the later sections overlap.

N.B. All ingredients should be organic. If you can find organic toasted sesame seed oil, I tip my hat to you.

The Sauce
Non-emulsified peanut butter
1 large lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
grated ginger (to taste)
powdered cayenne pepper
toasted sesame seed oil

Using a tea strainer to catch the seeds, juice the lemon into a large bowl. Discard the seeds, but toss the pulp in. Add three to four liberally heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter along with a few pinches of salt and a few dashes of toasted sesame seed oil. Depending upon how masochistic you are, use a few shakes of chili powder along with the diced garlic cloves and mix well. The sauce should be rather thick. Set aside and prepare your veggies:

3 green onions, diced
1 large carrot, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 fistful of fresh basil w/ stems, minced
1 small fistful of curly parsley, minced
1 slightly larger fistful of cilantro, minced
A few handfuls of roughly chopped up organic raw peanuts, shelled (duh)

After mincing, dicing, and grating up your veggies, mix them together and mix in a couple spoonful of the sauce. It won't mix as well as you'd think, and you will eventually need some more toasted sesame seed oil (you did save some, right?).

N.B. Organic raw peanuts aren't as difficult to find as you would think. They are more expensive, however, and they're smaller than conventional peanuts, but they're tastier and absofuckinglutely worth it in my mind.

If you're feeling artsy-fartsy, you may want to use a few extra big ass basil leaves in between the filling and the rice paper wraps. I was just nervous about fucking up the rice paper wraps having never worked with them before. More on those later.

Tofu,My Brothas & Sistas
1 pound extra firm tofu, drained & diced

Heat up a wok, but do NOT add any oil yet. Using a good sharp kitchen utility knife, slice the block of tofu into about 4 - 5 sheets before cutting into smaller cubes. Toss the tofu into the wok and sear until it begins to stick to the pan (depending upon your wok and how hot it is, this should take a few minutes). Add in a couple spoonfuls of the sauce and add in a few tosses of the toasted sesame seed oil. Mix so that the sauce and oil is evenly distributed. Remove from heat and toss into your veggies. Mix thoroughly. If you have any sauce left, mix that in with a couple shakes of toasted sesame seed oil. You want the mixture to be chunky but not unwieldy.

The Noodles
I used a box of Annie Chung's Pad Thai rice noodles. They don't have to be that particular brand I guess, and from what I saw at Whole Foods, the different Pad Thai rice noodle packages all seemed about the same size.

Start boiling water for the noodles in a deep pot right before you heated up the wok. Once the water reaches a rapid boil, toss in the noodles. Cook for about 5 minutes, then drain teh noodles in a colander before returning to the pot to "shock" cool them down in ice cold water. You may have to drain again and shock the noodles again until they're cool. At that point drain the noodles well, and return to the pot. Cut them up with a pair of scissors. The reason for this is that you want them to be small enough to be spooned onto the rice paper skins. Mix the cut up noodles into your veggies & sauce mixture.

You're pretty much done except for the last part.

The Rice Paper Skins
Finding these wasn't too difficult at Whole Foods. You might also find them easily at a Vietnamese or Thai grocery store.

While they look stiff and mildly flexible, After soaking them, they're easy to use. They don't tear all that easily, so don't be frightened by their filmy nature after soaking them. You'll need a small shallow pan of cool water. Soak the rice paper skins one by one in the pan for a few seconds. Place the wet, filmy skin on your plate, spoon in the noodles & veggies mix, and wrap it up as you would a burrito.

With some practice, you should be able to wrap these up to set aside in a container for another meal or picnic. The mixture should serve about 4 hungry bastards, and you should still have some leftover skins. Keep the leftovers dry in a bag.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Organic Vegan Buckwheat Noodle Tofu Salad

I was debating what to title this. It's not really Thai, but I suppose it's "Thai-inspired." It's incredibly easy to make, but you'll need to get things in order to pull it off quickly.

N.B. Ingredients should be organic whenever possible. The only thing I wasn't able to find organically was the toasted sesame oil.

1 package Buckwheat Noodles (three bundles)
Non-emulsified peanut butter
3 large green onions
1 handful curly parsley
1 large lemon
1 large carrot
4 cloves garlic
ginger (to taste)
chili powder (to taste)
1 pound extra firm tofu
fresh basil

NOTES: The peanut butter I used was organic from Woodstock Farms. It was non-emulsified with a layer of oil on top. This means you'll have to stir it up in the jar before using. It also usually means that this kind of peanut butter will be a wee bit looser than conventional peanut butter (great for sauces, but not as great for a PBJ sammich). I've also found that it's a bit looser than freshly-ground peanut butter.

Heat up a wok, but do not add oil. Dice the tofu and sear the tofu until crispy. Stir every now and then to prevent sticking to the wok. While the tofu is cooking, Put about three big heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter in a mixing bowl. If I had to guess, I'd say use about 2/3rds of a cup. Juice the lemon and remove the seeds. Mix that into the peanut butter. Add the toasted sesame oil. Add salt, chili powder, and freshly grated ginger to taste. This mixture should have the consistency of a thick sauce, so you may need to add more toasted sesame oil. When the tofu is crispy, place it in a bowl to cool.

Start boiling water for the noodles in a large pot. While you're waiting for the water to roil, mince the garlic and add to the sauce. Grate the carrot and mince the parsley and green onions. Add to the sauce along with the tofu. Mix together. Boil the buckwheat noodles for a few minutes until al dente. Drain, and then soak for about a minute in ice cold water. Drain again. Return noodles to pot and then mix in the sauce. Roughly chop up a couple handfuls of fresh basil and add.

Serves 4.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Goddamn, I Hate George Romero

Ain't much in life that can put a smile on my face easier than a bunch of zombies. I love zombies, and more specifically, seeing them get fucked up with shotguns, baseball bats, chainsaws, garden tools - anything.

You'd think that because of my penchant for the undead, that I'd love the movies of George Romero.

You'd be dead fucking wrong.

George Romero is revered as the Godfather of horror movies having churned out "Night of the Living Dead," "Dawn of the Dead," "Day of the Dead," and a bunch more. The problem is that he was too fucking stupid (or stoned or both) to copyright "Night of the Living Dead." You can find a shitload of different legal releases of "Night of the Living Dead," and Romero ain't gonna see more than a squirt of piss off of them. He also freely admits to ripping off Richard Matheson's seminal vampire novel I Am Legend as the "inspiration" for "NOTLD."

OK, so he's an idiot and a thief. Big deal. So's George Lucas. Maybe he can churn out a decent zombie movie, right?


I looked around for "Dawn of the Dead," and I found out that there were at least three different edits of the movie. The special effects were apparently deemed too gory to get an "R" rating from the MPAA in 1978. I finally saw a fanedit (and no, I'm not telling how or where) of "Dawn of the Dead" that incorporated all three different cuts, and I don't necessarily have a problem with the gore or the cheesy makeup. The pacing sucked. It looked as if Romero bit off more than he could chew. There was no real consistent sense of impending doom from the undead. There were a few memorable bits but on the whole, it was boring as fuck. I'm not buying into the praise of "DOTD" as a critique of modern consumerism. Zack Snyder handled that a LOT better in his 2004 remake, and the remake was a lot scarier. No, Romero failed to understand the transition from the claustrophobic environment in "NOTLD" to a wide open shopping mall in "DOTD."

In 1996, Capcom released their "survival horror" video game "Resident Evil" (known in Japan as "Biohazard"). There were monsters, traps, and VERY hungry zombies. Speculation began almost immediately about a movie, and while it took a long time to make through "development Hell," 2002 saw the first "Resident Evil"-inspired movie. It and the subsequent movies weren't entirely faithful, but it could have been a lot worse. George Romero was the fanboy favorite to direct, and I remember there was some outrage that he wasn't actually going to direct it. The "Resident Evil" movie was far from briliant, but I can't imagine how much it would have reeked of fomunda cheese if that overrated Roger Corman-knockoff directed it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Super Godfather Fighter Turbo!

I remember when Electronic Arts released their first game based on Francis Ford Coppola's movie series, "The Godfather," Coppola himself shit a brick in protest bitching about it being too violent, yadda yadda yadda.

Firstly, I strongly feel that Francis Ford Coppola is a huge fucking bitch, and I would love precious little more than to bludgeon his ass with a lead pipe, and that's before I'd get creative with his suffering.

Secondly, I'm assuming that one of the reasons he may have bitched about the game was the money he stood to make off it in terms of licensing.... unless he didn't stand to receive a piece of the action in licensing deals in which case he's free to disparage the game because he doesn't stand to make all that much dough from it. Marlon Brando's last work was literally for "The Godfather" video game. That's one Hell of a "va fangu" to Coppola's "artistic vision."

Thirdly, the movie series was incredibly violent for its time. Carlo Rizzi getting a royal asswhooping, Sonny getting perforated on the Causeway, Moe Greene getting shot through the eye - what was that, fucking Sunday School? I guess the Bonnano family (upon whom the book and subsequent movies were based) ruled the Mafia with hugs and kisses, right?

Finally, Coppola's vision of Mario Puzo's epic crime novel The Godfather was a bastardization of the source material. The first two movies were great, but it's a little known fact that there was a shitload of finished footage (75 minutes worth) that Coppola hacked out of "The Godfather, Part II." This footage was re-edited AT COPPOLA'S BEHEST (while he was filming "Apocalypse Now") He did this in order to make a television version of "The Godfather" to raise money for "Apocalypse Now" which was apparently insanely over budget. The first two movies were re-edited chronologically from when young Vito Andolini left Sicily to Michael Corleone pondering what's left of his family empire. While this was a wonderful achievement, it was still a tribute and reinterpretation of Mr. Puzo's original novel. You may wonder why this re-edit hasn't seen release in ages (outside of being on Bravo every now and then). I'm guessing it's because NBC may have a stake in the home video rights, and they're not playing ball. Any claim Coppola wants to make about being true to the source material is rendered fucking moot by his own greed.

I would like to see Coppola squirm and bitch even more with a Godfather fighting game. None of this "work your way up the Corleone crime family chain of command" shit. I mean an honest-to-God fighting game like Capcom's "Street Fighter" and Bandai Namco's "Tekken" series. Between the three movies, there's a shitload of main and ancillary characters. You might have to prove yourself by training against Al Neri, Sal Tessio, Rocco Lampone, Michael's unnamed bodyguard, and the formidable Luca Brasi. You could pit Sonny against Carlo Rizzi - AGAIN. Mamma Corleone could beat the fuck out of Fredo with a rolling pin. How weird (and yet oddly satisfying) would it be to have young Peter Clemenza fight "Fat" Clemenza? I'd love to see Apollonia Vitelli Corleone unleash her Sicilian rage against Kay Adams Corleone. There could be handicapping like if Connie Corleone got to fight Carlo Rizzi, she could have a 25% - 50% power bonus (tough shit Carlo. That's what you get for cheating on your wife and beating her). If by some randomization Mary Corleone had to fight Vincent Mancini, she'd fuck him afterwards.

But most of all, I'd like to see a gang beating of Mary Corleone Sofia Coppola.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Unclean Stuff I Think About

Man, I used to love the Smurfs. Little blue gnomes living peacefully in a mushroom village...I'm fairly certain that before the cartoons came out on NBC on Saturday mornings a lifetime ago, I knew that it was a hit comic strip in Europe. I remember having the Windsurfing Smurf.

Somewhere between that idyllic moment and not, I became a cynical, angry motherfucker of a jackass, and I think about weird shit.

Like that skank Smurfette. She was such a goddamned slut. You live in the woods, there are predators and at least one mincy little bitch of an evil wizard Hellbent on eating Smurfs, and there's a skanky blue 'ho in pumps? And let me get this straight - 100 MALE Smurfs, and 1 FEMALE Smurf. Can anyone say "Bluekakke?"

Maybe I'm imagining things, but aside from Poppa Smurf and Paris Hilton Smurfette, the rest of the Smurfs were bald. Yeah, I know about Sassette. That little ginger Smurf can kiss my ass.

Who could forget Jokey Smurf, the crazy little fucker who liked watching shit explode? When the fuck did al Quaeda get a splinter cell amongst the Smurfs?

Was Hefty Smurf overcompensating for something? I mean statistically, at least 10 of those Smurfs had to be gay.

Poppa Smurf should have checked Dreamy Smurf's arms for track marks. I'm guessing he was rocking the white horse.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Farewell to Bob Shamrock - A Saint Among Men

(Big Props to

This is Bob Shamrock (right) and his son Ken, legendary UFC Hall of Famer. Bob passed away today at the home of Ken and his wife Tonya. There's a great obituary on one of my favorite MMA websites, Bob died from a long-term battle with Diabetes, and he was fortunate to have passed on in the company of friends and family.


Let that word settle in for a moment, because Bob has a huge family to match the depth of his heart. He opened up his home in Susanville, California to hundreds of boys that society had turned their backs on. Foster kids, runaways, and even guys as fucked up as Ken Wayne Kilpatrick who at the tender age of 13 already had a police record including armed robbery. Bob saw sports as an outlet for his boys, and whatever they needed, Bob gave. It may not have been the best education money could buy, but it was good, and it was what he could afford. A college education may not have been at Stanford, but it was a college education, and Bob footed the bill. FOR ALL HIS BOYS.

On Ken's 18th birthday, Bob legally adopted him, and out of respect Ken legally changed his name to Shamrock. Frank Allsio Juarez III came to the Shamrock Boys Home under similar conditions as Ken, and Frank also changed his name to Shamrock out of respect for the man who had done so much for him. Frank went on to become a legendary MMA fighter.

Farewell, Bob. Your charity and generosity have given hope to hundreds of boys. You are a true inspiration and a saint.

Friday, January 1, 2010

My God, It's Full of Stars

And with those fateful words, David Bowman, protagonist of Sir Arthur C. Clarke's science fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, dove into the unknown. I may be amongst a minority of science fiction fans when I say this, but I didn't hate Peter Hyams' "2010: The Year We Make Contact," (the sequel to Stanley Kubrick's film"2001"). In fact, I loved it. I may also be in a minority of film and movie buffs when I say that I do not deify Stanley Kubrick. Out of his body of work that I've seen ("The Shining," "2001," "Dr. Strangelove," and "Full Metal Jacket") I only really liked "Full Metal Jacket." I have no desire to see any of his other films based on "Gosh - it's Stanley Kubrick's [FILL IN THE BLANK]! I have to see it because he's a fucking genius!" No, he isn't. He may have had a great eye, and a great sense of direction, but he also made a lot of thematic changes to both "The Shining" and "2001." I'm convinced that he had something to do with the missing footage of "2001" being truly missing and indeed actually destroyed. He made it nearly impossible for anyone to think about those books without the movies first, and that is a crime I will never EVER forgive. Yes, Peter Hyams' "2010" is guilty of the same crimes I levy against Mr. Kubrick, but with all due apologies to Mr. Hyams, nobody is putting him on the same lofty pedestal as Stanley "Film God" Kubrick. I remember seeing "2001" a bunch of times before I worked up the courage to read the book. It was one weird fucking movie. "2010" inspired me to read the book 2010: Odyssey Two immediately, and it gave me a deeper appreciation for Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

But I digress.

Peter Hyams' "2010" and the original book are noteworthy for a number of points, but as it is New Year's Day, I thought I'd reflect upon the ones that came to mind foremost: politics and optimism. The background of "2010" is set against a US-Soviet conflict that goes hot rather quickly. "Soviets," not "Russians," or "Chinese" (which would have been more appropriate given the book). This is amusing in our current world, one which is literally a generation since the books publication in 1983. Mr. Hyams deftly uses the book to weave his own story of optimism and doesn't seem to forget the central message behind Sir Arthur C. Clarke's Monolith story device. It was meant to spur the next step in evolution, to inspire us to grow and go farther than we thought possible. What better way to think about optimism than against the backdrop of World War III?

And David Bowman (who had since he uttered those fateful words had become closer to his antagonist, the HAL 9000 computer as well as what we could become) visited his former wife and his mother to let them know in what limited way they might be able to understand that "something wonderful" was going to happen. I cried during those scenes the first time I saw the movie, and I still cry when I see it. Such a wonderful message of optimism was released in a year when we were still entrenched in US-USSR agitprop bullshit. It would take us a generation to get out from under the shadow of Reagan-Bush and Bush-Cheney, and maybe now we finally have reason to have hope. Maybe now we can believe that it is full of stars.