We're #1!!!

Detroit beat out St. Louis for most dangerous city in America according to crime rankings by Congressional Quarterly.  Flint came in third.  Gnashing of teeth ensues.

The fact remains:  Those rankings are based on FBI crime statistics culled from locally-kept statistics.  Lower the Detroit Metropolitan stats, and we'd move down the list.

Meanwhile, we're still pointing fingers and expecting handoutsSomebody do something to save us.

Posted by: Jason at 01:24 PM in Michigan | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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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.

Posted by: Jason at 11:18 PM in System | No Comments | Add Comment
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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. 

Posted by: Jason at 10:38 PM in Misc | No Comments | Add Comment
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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.

Posted by: Jason at 10:00 PM in Misc | No Comments | Add Comment
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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.

Posted by: Jason at 09:13 PM in Zombiewood | No Comments | Add Comment
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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

Posted by: Jason at 02:34 PM in Misc | No Comments | Add Comment
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