If not life, then...

The profound found in the trash. 

A quote from a film I actually still enjoy after seeing several times. 

:  It's like Kurt Cobain for the clinically depressed in a, "Hey, you're better than a shotgun blast to the face" sort of way.

Choose life.

Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?

If not life, then peace.

An aside:  I do actually wonder, at times, if I explain myself enough to be understood by someone other than me.

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+1 spinsters

Note:  I'm not posting this because I recently fired off an email stating my lack of qualifications for blog writing to The American Princess in hopes of landing wider distribution of my inane thoughts.

I'm posting this on behalf of the Spinster Bloc of voters who, apparently, won't be voting for the wannabe spinster, M(r)s. (Rodham) Clinton (depending on whether or not baking cookies is in vogue).

That, and I had no idea there was a World Bridge Championship.  But there is.  And so I make post.  Plus YouTube video about the latest shocking scandal rocking the professional Bridge world.

E.M. does do a great blog though - despite the random World Bridge Championship posts. 

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Think, think, think

If you've noticed this blog, I regret to inform you of possible impending changes.  If you've read this blog before, you've noticed it was called by my long-time interwebz handle, 'ampdead.'  There is a long and storied history of my ampdead persona dating back to my AOL days when I used to frequent the uber-daddy of anti-whatever chatrooms, 'Punk Sucks'.

By the way, yes, there is a story behind the name as well.  It begins with underage drinking and ends with a guitar amp that only plays Hendrix-style noise-fests.  Or it refers to electricity and synapses.  Whatever you prefer.

This blog is now named 'The Rat' and is sure to undergo some other changes.  One of those changes may be switching the url from to  So, if you're really interested in reading what I write, keep that in mind in case brings you an Interwebz has been shutdown 404 error.  Remember:  The subterranean Jedi lizards are your cookie-giving friends - even if they are Nazi Shriner Joooz from the planet Finkle interrupting my weekly mindcasts.

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Gravitas, presence, subtlety

An argument about aesthetics.

Three things lead to this post.  The first can be found at Blackfive:  On PTSD, or More Properly, On Coming Home.  The second is a 2005 essay written by Frederica Mathewes-Green:  Against Eternal Youth (found via Ed Driscoll).  The third is a thread at the Conservative Punk* boards:  RIP:Norman Mailer-Didn't Know How to Spell Fuck.

How odd the evolution of thought.  Even so, read those three links (plus Dricoll's if you have time).  Then make a judgment call about the following sculptures.

Notes and related thoughts.

I cannot speak to PTSD - especially in regards to combat as I've never been beyond the walls Grim describes.  Grim doesn't want to call it an illness per se, and he's correct to a point.  But mental illness in general, as I can speak to - whether due to environment or physiology - may rise to the definition of an illness.  The end is the same, however - it is not something to be ashamed of.  Likewise, it is not something to let fester as it only gets worse with time. 

There is nothing at all weak about facing one's demons.  It may, in fact, be the hardest battle ever.  In any case:  If you have a broken arm, you seek to mend it.  In that simplified sense, mental 'illness' of any sort is no different - the treatments, as Grim accurately describes them, are, however, far more varied than a trip to the hospital and a cast.  The most difficult part, though, is no one else can make you well.  Worse yet:  Defeating those demons means living with them.  Ride deep.

There's something to be said of the generational gap that permeates that Mathewes-Green piece - that hyphenated name may be detrimental to such sentiments though.  We can, of course, wallow in the fact that we are not the Greatest Generation.  That sort of sorrow, however, generally doesn't lead to greatness. 

There was the story, for instance, of the Clinton administration lamenting the timing of the 9/11 attacks.  A sort of thinking that neglects to say the event was horrible and should never have happened in favor of saying we could have responded better, and our response would have ensured our own place in history.  A sort of masochism, being envious of other's suffering.  When the debate grinds down to who can cut themselves better, something is wrong.  Not wholly new however.

Victor Davis Hanson in his book, A War Like No Other, describes the generational divide between the Greeks who fought the Persians at Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis and then the Athenians and Spartiates who fought each other during the twenty-seven year "Great Ancient Greek Civil War" (as VDH names the Peloponnesian War).  That is, trying to mimic a previous generation in ends when, really, the point is to deal with the circumstances at hand as best as one can as previous generations dealt with their own circumstances as best as they could.  Not everyone may be numbered amongst the 300 afterall - nor should just anyone be.  Likewise, not everyone may be numbered amongst the Silicon Valley greats - nor should just anyone be.

We do our best in the context of everything.  You know the rest of that thought already.  Live up to what and who you are.

If you've read through the thread about the late Norman Mailer then you know I didn't think much of him or his writing.  This, I think, sums up this post.  Shouting inanities versus mumbling truth.  Big talkers versus big sticks.  Art, it seems to me, should take the latter course.

There is no pretense in Michelangelo's David.  There is no boasting.  There is nothing to prove.  There is the simplicity of understanding one's limits, accepting those limits, even, while seeking to go beyond them.  David rides deep, slingshot in hand, despite this seemingly impossible task.  He is ready to confront that which he should not be able to defeat.  Circumstance has brought him to this point.  David will face Goliath.

That, in my mind, is true art if art is understood as a reflection of life.

*Yes, there is such a thing as a Conservative Punk.  Those boards are, in fact, generally interesting if you enjoy no-holds-barred debating - they don't exclude anyone from voicing opinions except bone fide Communists or Fascists.  Although, I admit, citing anything punk in a post that decries shouting inanities is somewhat antithetical.

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I just remembered...

...NHLVideo on Youtube. Sweet.

11/7 vs. Predators. Osgood should have had a shutout, but the Wings tried to lose in the last few minutes. Won in overtime though - I still don't like the shootouts. Zetterberg though - on a 15-game point roll, at least a point in every game so far, leads the league with 25 points, second in goals with 12, plus 84 shots on net. The guy makes it look too easy sometimes. Score one for shootouts because of Zetterberg. Still, I don't like shootouts - much.


Posted by: Jason at 08:56 PM in Red Wings | No Comments | Add Comment
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World Going To Hell Faster Than Experts Thought

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Actual funny

As opposed to the post below.

Take notes, comedy writers. But mostly note that humor is based on reality.

h/t HotAir

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Who wrote this crap?

Is it just me, or is The End of Entertainment As We Know It a bit surreal? I mean, I'd take a scab job at Chrysler, Ford, or GM if I could and that's kinda like, you know, actual work.

Still, in these deeply dark days devoid of sunshine for Hollywood, the writers maintain their, ahem, 'sense of humor.' Though if this is funny, why are they getting paid at all?

Resistance to teh funnay iz teh futile.

h/t Nikki Finke who calls this a "very funny 1-minute video from WGA members Gregg Rossen and Brian Sawyer about what Hollywood screenwriters will be doing for day jobs post-strike." If that's funny then Hollywood is a comedy blackhole. Keep on suckin'.

Note the music. BTO's "Takin' Care of Business." "We love to work at nothing all day" is probably not a good argument for getting a pay raise.

Courage. Unity.

Grow up.

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A broader thought on my previous post.

Is the reality that a person can only be either pro-Muslim or anti-Muslim without anything inbetween?  Little Green Footballs, this past week, has made various posts about some European groups that may be anti-Islamization, but may also be (and from the evidence presented are) neo-Nazis.  The Yaffer flap only illustrated that more.  But LGF also has a solid record on pointing out and shouting down pro-Islamization groups as well as those people willfully blind to Islamofascism.  In other words, Johnson is certainly no friend of CAIR or Jimmy Carter.  But neither is he a racist.

The us or them mentality is a fundamentally unprincipled stand.  To claim inviting Griffin was due to starting a debate is as absurd as claiming the same for inviting Ahmadinejad.  There is no debate here anymore - it's done, it's been settled.  Both of these men hold views any rational person would dismiss out of hand.  Period.

At some point, the thoughtful person has to realize that some apparent fellow travelers are, in reality, no different from one's enemies.  Trading a Crescent Moon for a Swastika makes no damned sense.  You're not making a trade of ideas; rather, you're merely switching out one symbol for another while retaining the meaning.

Pointing out the actual beliefs of someone who claims to be your friend is not being PC.  It's being honest with yourself.  Moreover, it's standing up for your own beliefs.

An aside:  The ties between Islamism and Nazism need to be, I suppose, continually pointed out.  There's a reason it's called Islamofascism after all.  It's why, for instance, both Storm Front and Hamas are equally our enemies even though they would likely, when we are finished off, go after each other.

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Paging General Ripper

This is fun.  The S.S. Kidz at Michigan State invited the British version of Ahmadinejad (though Griffin is only in the wannabe phase at the moment) to speak on campus and then, through some uncanny mental gymnastics, wrote the following about Little Green Footballs on their precious little blog:

In case you do not read Little Green Footballs, the blog is pro-Muslim, left-wing, politically correct, and basically a front for neoconservative foreign policy (instead of defending their culture, they want to build schools in the Anbar province). They are basically a puppet of the multiculturalists and believe that Islam is not the enemy of Western civilization and Christendom. Only Bush-bots read the Little Green Footballs blog.

See, kids, this is why Michigan sucks right now.  Blame the politicians all you want, but it's the idiots in the voting booths who gave the politicians power.  This moonbattery - of which I once thought the Kos Kidz were the best example of - will get you nothing except maybe a flogging from your betters.

I don't know, maybe it's something in the water?  East Lansing and Lansing are pretty close to each other afterall.  Have you people O.D.'ed on fluoride?

Special:  S.S. Kidz chased by cane-wielding mob.  Did they have walkers too?

Posted by: Jason at 01:15 AM in Michigan | No Comments | Add Comment
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To anyone who may read this blog...

From HotAir

Checks should be made payable to the Ayaan Hirsi Ali Security Trust and sent to:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Security Trust
Bank of Georgetown
1054 31st Street, N.W.
Suite 18
Washington, DC 20007
Ayaan Hirsi Ali Trust Tax Identification Number: 75-6826872

Thank you for your interest in assisting Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

For more information please contact: John Matteo ( or Mackenzie McNaughton (, representatives for Ms. Hirsi Ali. Telephone: 202-457-1600

Wire Transfer information

Account Name: Ayaan Hirsi Ali Security Trust
Account Number: 1010054748
Bank of Georgetown
1054 31st Street, N.W.
Suite 18
Washington, DC 20007
Bank Telephone: 202-355-1200
Bank Routing Number: 054001712

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A-Changin' Time

Dylan ditches electric for gasoline.  Hippies hardest hit.

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Expression is an action

As such it has an equal but opposite reaction.  Or would if we human beings stopped thwarting the laws of Nature.  We humans, being decent folk, continually interfere with the natural consequences of being stupid.  Instead of removal from the gene pool we put them on display.

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Is the photoshop bad?

Actually, it's worse than this.

h/t HotAir headlines that h/t'ed LGF

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Oh dear

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Then again, maybe he did

The photoshops are flying, poking fun at Dennis Kucinich.

But how do you explain this?

h/t HotAir headlines for the "Photo of the Day."

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Redact this

Got this off a comment to Jimbo at Blackfive's post on his encounter with David Horowitz - though I did have to find the actual story.

CNN:  Around 800 drooling inbreds Marines volunteer to help save Southern California from burning to the ground. 

Go figure.

Edit:  Glenn Beck eats 50 pounds of donuts - braincells go on vacation.  Rephrasing that statement would actually make sense though, and this question is valid.  How many people in that area support forest "management via wildfire"

Yes, I get it.  The fires are a terrible thing, and as Allah at HA writes, "The sheer scale of it is astounding."  No, I'm not trying to make light of it.  But if you make your bed out of underbrush, it's going to burn.

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Hate crime

If Dumbledore was gay, does that make J.K. Rowling a homophobe for killing him off?

Update from lolcats.

funny cat picture

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We were going to see a movie yesterday

At the theater even, with $9 tickets, larger-than-life commercials, and all that other happy crap.  The only thing that seemed remotely worth seeing for the price was Elizabeth:  The Golden Age, but the times didn't fit our schedule - a whole three showings on a Saturday.  Instead we just went to dinner. 

Then we remembered we have a DVD player.

So, one of the complaints coming from Hollywood is people are staying home and using their "home theaters" instead of going to the theater to see movies.  Thus, Hollywood is losing profits.  Sorry, kids, I don't have a home theater - I have a television with a DVD player hooked up to it.  Granted, this swanky setup I have is passable for watching movies, but it ain't no theater.  And no "home theater" I have ever seen comes close to the experience of being in a large space with a huge screen and a sound system that would get you arrested.

It's like saying listening to a recording of a live concert is the same as being at the concert.  What a stupid thing to say.

Transformers grossed $318,346,000 domestically (plus $383,326,113 foreign) in it's 111 day run in theaters.  It's opening weekend grossed $70,502,384 with an average of $17,577 per theater.  It was made on a budget of $150,000,000.  I get that it may not be a "high concept" film - giant robots fighting each other isn't high art, of course.  Then again, perhaps the giant robot thing was just a spiffy facade for a film that does do what film is supposed to do - namely, entertain while delving into the certain basic truths of being human.

By the way, I'm guessing such creators of high art as Raphael would greatly appreciate the precision and obsessive attention to detail put into creating those giant robots.

So, we ended up at Meijers after dinner.  I saw Transformers when it came out in theaters with my brother-in-law, but Dianne hadn't.  We bought the 2-disc special edition version for less than what two tickets and two drinks would have cost us to see the unmitigated flops in theaters now.  The price really didn't matter though.  I was willing to, and did pay for the privilege of seeing it in theaters.

One of the things I think makes a good film is that transition from theater viewing to home viewing.  Movies are supposed to be larger-than-life and you inevitably lose something of that between theater and home.  Twister may have been decent in theaters, but there's really no point in watching it at home.  It's a thrill ride that loses its thrill.  I suspect the same may be true of, for instance, 300 - I've yet to buy the DVD for that reason even though I saw it twice in theaters, and loved it.

While some of the pizazz may have been lost with Transformers, it retained the other, more essential qualities.  The the theatrical destruction was toned down a bit due to the limitations of my "home theater system," but the themes that moved the story couldn't be stripped away by merely shrinking the size of the screen and speakers.  The explosions, the giant robots - all of that - nicely settled into their role as complimentary framing for what is a pretty decent story.

The second disc provided some interesting tidbits about the movie's production.  Good things must be said about a director who is willing to take a pay cut in order to keep production, or most of it, in the U.S.  More so for a Hollywood director, given current movies, who doesn't portray the U.S. military as a bunch of incompetent, slobbering goons bent on rape and pillage.  Doesn't hurt that actual off-duty military were cast as extras (including speaking roles).  Even better:  They're portrayed as capable people doing their best against seemingly unbeatable odds.  Oh yeah, and they - along with the rest of the good guys - triumph.

That being a refreshing change, a radical departure from the norm in Hollywood is a strange thing.  Who says radicalism can't be profitable?

Sure, there could be changes made, but overall the movie works.  It works so well I saw it in theaters, and will watch it many times to come at home.

Edit:  I want to point out I'm not a big Michael Bay fan.  Armageddon was OK, never saw Pearl Harbor, and The Island was, er, something.  I've never been big on horror pics either; although, it might be interesting to see what he does with The Birds - maybe.  And I just found out there's a Michael Bay website - with this post in particular where he says about the same thing I did about recreating the theater experience outside the theater.

Watching a movie on an iPod?  Lame.

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The Frosts

If Mr. and Mrs. Frost don't give a damn about their kids, why should anyone else?

Maybe instead of SCHIP they should be the poster-parents for government funded birth control.

Could the Democrats not find a family that actually needs government assistance to tout this government assistance program?  If the Frosts are the state of poverty in the U.S. now then Johnson's War is won, and there's no need for these programs.

Posted by: Jason at 01:12 AM in Misc | No Comments | Add Comment
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