Gray Flannel Dwarf


If all your friends jumped off a bridge…

Here’s my halloween costume. Note that this was actually pre-halloween, for a party last weekend. Let it be known that I am currently dressed in blue jeans.

Unfortunately, no one at the party had never seen Reservoir Dogs before :-/.

I also don’t fit the role as well as I used to, when I was skinny-as-a-rail in college. In fact, I think I look pretty fat in that photo. Ick.

cswiii @ 9:05 pm


a few things on my mind

* At first, I was convinced that the sniper was an utter genius. I thought this, because he managed to exploit the very weaknesses of an urban area — easy entrances and exits, lots of places to hide, amongst a few other things. I mean, I knew the guy was skilled with the gun, but it was if there was a little something more… intuitive to him, in a social sense, like he really knew how to subvert an urban population.

However, near the very end — and before that, in retrospect — he didn’t seem to be as smart, or as focused with a motive as one would expect. Now, many serial killers make an effort to communicate with law enforcement. This is almost necessitated, as the killings have been likened to drug hits — the need to heighten the thrill increases with every killing, and thus the tauntings/challenge increase, as a way to manifest this thrill.

Now, this guy started doing that. However, he went insanely overboard — to the point of mentioning the crimes in Montgomery. This really doesn’t make sense. And the $10 million dollars… a lot of people think, or though, that this was just something done to throw people off. However, I don’t think so. They lived in homeless shelters. They slept in cars, lived in cars. They’d been reduced to eating crackers and honey. I think this was the act of a desparate, materialistic soul, and I think he honestly believed he could get $10 million — and that really, all this shows that his motive, at least in any psychopathic tendency, was not as focused as people orginially thought. Furthermore, they confess this stuff to a priest, use him as an intermediary. The key there is “confessed”, at least this is the word used in the media. John Mohammed converted to Islam, apparently, after Sept 2001. Why would he “confess”, then, to a priest? Leads me to believe he wasn’t very steadfast in his faith, whatever it may be, you know, as if his conversion was almost a blind-faith, on-the-whim sort of thing. Religion isn’t something you generally take lightly when converting, and yet it seems as if this guy did it on the spur of the moment.

Sudden conversion to another religion. Giving police obvious clues as to who he was. Sleeping in a rest stop 60 miles from the crimes, after his mugshot and stuff were posted on the TV.

Suddenly the guy seems less like a tactical genius, and more like a guy who’s not too bright, much less having any common sense.

* This one’s not as long. Peoples’ names can tell you a lot about your environment. There were fewer than 600 students at my college. There were two women with very similar names, “Alethea” and “Althea”. Now, at first I thought one was a variation of the other, but apparently they mean two different things: “truth” for the former, “healer” for the latter, both greek in origin. This not notwithstanding — I had never, ever heard either of these two names before — and then suddenly, here I was at a tiny college in Tennessee, and these names were in the commonplace. The school had Althea and Alethea, not to mention a whole parade of Bethanies, Abigails, Rachels, Sarahs. On the other side, there were plenty of Davids, Micahs, and the like.

From a “religious names” perspective, my school was the spiritual equivalent of Oxy-Clean.

* Last thought. Google is amazing. The fact that I can do a google image search for “辣椒“, and get appropriate results, just blows my mind, for some reason.

Coffee time.

cswiii @ 9:22 am


I have a new hero!

Famed columnist and recipient of many letters from the “Son of Sam” in the 70s, Jimmy Breslin, is on CNN Newsnight right now. He is saying everything that needs to be said about this whole sniper investigation. He is ripping into the cops like nobody’s business, and he’s completely right about all of it. Lambasting the investigation team for not publishing the letters. Saying things like “when I hear people talking about being tired and their feet hurting from walking door-to-door for thirteen hours, then it’s an investigation”, and that the purpose of the police is to be “shoe leather”. He’s putting everything in the right perspective.

The host of the show looked to be stifling a laugh during parts of it, but I think he probably agreed 100%. They’ve made a mockery of this whole situation. Chief Moose is a joke.

cswiii @ 10:23 pm

Angle Inlet

When I was younger, one location in the US that always fascinated me, at least from a geographic viewpoint, was that tiny nub of land in Minnesota, north of most of the US/Canadian border. You usually need to see a fairly detailed map to locate it. Surrounded on three sides by water, and on the fourth by Canada — there is actually no contiguous border shared with the continental United States.

Other than fleeting, geographical interest, however, I never paid much attention to this anomaly, until something triggered thoughts about it in my head. Furthermore, simply based on its location, I figured there had to be some interesting politics involved in its existence. Thus, I decided to look it up on the net.

The region is called Angle Inlet. It has an interesting history, and indeed, some curious politics.

It is little, quirky bits of land like this that interest me, rather than big cities.

cswiii @ 12:50 pm



I’ve figured out what my Halloween costume will be.

Corey as Mr. Pink Corey as Mr. Pink, take 2

cswiii @ 5:42 pm

of hobbes and leviathans…

After the Home Depot shooting, it was discovered that one of the “credible” witnesses filed a false report — Presumably this was of course done to get some media attention.

Today, sources are suggesting that the note found and/or men arrested in Ashlands/Richmond are part of an elaborate scheme to extort money from this whole thing.

Honestly – is there even reason to have faith in humanity anymore? Can someone show me anything that indicates that the majority of people still have a concience?

cswiii @ 4:01 pm


old notebooks.

Wishes don’t come true;
Neither do lies.

Lies are armor
In a world of fantasy
They are the wave
That crashes,
Eroding the shore.

This is a poem I wrote, found in a notebook from 1994! It’s a notebook from my high school creative writing class. This one, along with others, generally sits, unopened, on one shelf of my bedside table. There are more of them at my mom’s house, somewhere, that will eventually make their way back to my place.

I don’t like opening this notebook, usually. For one, a lot of the stuff in it is utter doggerel, and if the notebook stays closed, I can pretend that I never wrote such tripe. Another is simply because it’s full of that angst-ridden crap found in every teenager’s notebook at one point or another, albeit I was probably affected by that illness on a magnitude not seen since the fall of man. And yes, it’s a black notebook.

Torn pages. Heavy, graphite streaks that start as writing and drop in a straight line down to the bottom of the page, concluding in a big, ugly scribbled cloud of angles, loops, pencil dust.

I do kinda like that poem, though. I don’t think I ever really saw it the last few times I flipped through this thing. It could use some work, a few other words, some arrangement. However, I think I’d rather just let it be. It’s an older chapter of my life that I really don’t see a need in revisiting.

He was a shifty-eyed old man, balding slightly on the back of his head, where the absence of the yellowing, gray hair allowed for his pale scalp to show through. He seemed to have something on his mind at all times, this accounting for his “suspect” look. Steely eyes stared back at me, as if staring into my own mind.

     “Young man,” he said, in a raspy, almost whisper-like coarse voice, “If the world was a child’s ball, and it fell down the stairs, where would it end up?”

I was miserable as a kid, but probably a lot of that was my own doing.

On to the second notebook. This is a purple one. Here, I find some haiku. Some of the stuff in this notebook is from college, it seems.

Splinters jump away
From the silver-grey metal
That splits the old stump

Eroding the shores,
The tide rolls back to the sea
Taking its children

I remember showing these haiku, and others, to a Luci Shaw, a fairly well-known contemporary poet who came to our campus for a few days. She liked them.

Here’s a programme from a 1995 poetry reading in the coffeehouse. Between readings, there were some musical bits. One of the professors played a piece on his flute; Later on, Brandon played guitar.

Kurdt Cobain poems. Obviously, there is still some high school stuff in this one, as well.

A draft of a poem I wrote specifically for spoken word. I won’t reproduce it here, now. I wrote about 3 of these sort of poems. Fast-paced, lyrical, political. I recycled them for years at readings, because they got great responses from the audience.

Everything in days past
     has disappeared
But I still have her clothes.

I remember reading that one at a different coffeehouse, a short-lived one on the outskirts of Bristol. CJ and I used to go there quite a bit. The poem got a chuckle or two out of the audience. It wasn’t meant to be funny.

cswiii @ 12:34 am


More Kerouac

Damp, chilly weather, like that which is outside today, encouraged me to listen to Kerouac: kicks joy darkness. On the album, the following bit is read by Richard Lewis, and is probably one of my favourite tracks.

America’s New Trinity of Love: Dean, Brando, Presley
(Written at the instigation of the two Helens, Weaver and Elliot 1957)

Love is sweeping the country.

While wars and riots rage all around the world, in a vortex that resembles the dying Dinosaur Age of Violence, here within her sweeter shores America is producing a Revolution of Love. Three young men of exceptional masculine beauty and compassion and sadness have been upraised by its reaching hands.

This is strange and it is good. Up to now the American Hero has always been on the defensive: he killed Indians and villains and beat up his rivals and surled. He has been good-looking but never compassionate except at odd moments and only in stock situations. Now the new American hero, as represented by the trinity of James Dean, Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley, is the image of compassion in itself. And this makes him more beautiful than ever. It is as though Christ and Buddha were about to come again with masculine love for the woman at last. All gone are the barriers of asceticism and the barriers of ancient anti-womanism that go deep into primitive religion. It is a Revolution of Love and it will become a Religion of Love. The Garden of Eden might come back in its pristine form. The old American Hero fought the Devil; the new American Hero knows that the Devil never existed except in the minds of anxiety. There will be no more tempting of the woman by the Devil and no banishment from the paradise on earth.

It’s got to be. A Revolution of Love is the positive answer; banishment of war and the Bomb is only a negative answer. There have been Revolutions of Love before, accomplished always by some isolated individual like Cassanova, Valentino, Sinatra. But now the intensity and the need is such, that there are more than one. It’s not a vain and self centered thing, but it spreads. This is implicit in the James Dean movie “Rebel Without A Cause” where, when the hero and the girl sneak off to make love in the empty mansion, leaving the desperate boy alone (Sal Mineo), and all the trouble takes place, Dean says: “We shouldnt have left him alone,” the girl says “But I needed you,” and Dean states “But he needed you too.” This is child-like and innocent. “Suffer the little ones to come unto me.” There is the need all around to be recognized and adored by some other human being, the need all around for kindness, for the ideal of love which does not exclude cruelty but is all-embracing, non-assertive, simply lovely. Not necessarily the Dionysion orgy but the tender communion.

As always when something new grows out of the groaning earth, this earth which is a recent event in the cosmic eternity of light, there are angry complaints raised from all stations. The dryer intellectuals complain that the adulation of the dead James Dean by thousands of American girls represents a kind of unhealthy necrophilia; they point out the fact that 1,000 fan letters a month are still being written to Dean as tho he were still alive, asking for his pictures and asking him to come back because they love him. “Even if you look bad and you’re all cut up from your car-crash, come back anyway.” Yet if Ste. Teresa can make us the holy promise that she will come back and shower the earth with roses forever, this belief in the immortal lovingness of James Dean by thousands of eager believing chicks is well-rooted in a reverential mystical tradition that has certainly never harmed the sleeping babe in his crib. It augurs well for the world that it will refuse to believe that in death endeth loveliness, or endeth enlightenment.

Elegant complainers say Marlon Brando is ill-dressed, vain, self-centred, Kowalski-Terry Malloy hoodlumish, irresponsible; they picture him as wandering away to leave his girl crying. Yet what is it he has?–that made a girl say “I just feel that Marlon Brando would know how to love me better than any man in the world, that he would go skipping down the street with me hand-in-hand, that he would do anything I asked him, and be kind. Because his soul is free and that’s why he’s so beautiful!”… Brando is indeed a free soul; his individual approach to his work as well as to his way of life bespeak a strong faith in himself as a man and as an American.
–Jack Kerouac

cswiii @ 10:42 am


On tonight’s episode of the

On tonight’s episode of the hokey new MSNBC TV show, Countdown: Iraq, or whatever it’s called, they had a quick segment on Americans living in the middle east, discussing what the mood is like, any tensions they might be feeling with all this talk of new action against Iraq.

They had bit interviews with two women living in Kuwait. Unfortunately, they were these blonde, bimbo, redneck women, most likely military wives. They had nothing interesting to say.

It was then that it occurred to me that if this is the caliber of US personality and culture encountered by indigenous peoples in the middle east, it’s no wonder they can’t stand us.

cswiii @ 9:00 pm


Contraction Kids

I’m kinda cheering the Twins on, in this year’s baseball playoffs. Now, two things: First of all, I haven’t much followed baseball this year, at least not in the athletic side of things, but I’ve been following the political side pretty hard. Maybe that says something about me. Second, the Twins aren’t the team I follow… I’m a Detroit fan, and they haven’t done anything in years.

This said, I must have subconciously followed the Twins, at least to some degree, for years, based on just how I’m cheering them on. It’s like I cherish ‘em or something. Now, I know a lot of people are doing this, these days — they want to see the underdog, one of the teams that has been threatened with shutdown after the season, get the crown. There’s certainly a very populist appeal to this idea.

However, when I think of the Twins, I don’t think of Torii Hunter. In fact, I didn’t even know Hunter was on the Twins, and only vaguely knew the name. When I think of the Twins, I remember names like Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek, names that were big when I was a fledgling baseball card collector, circa 1986. In fact, I remember my first trip to a baseball card shop w/ the kid who introduced me to collecting. We went with his dad , whereupon I remember him taking out a crumpled couple of bills, and buying an early Hrbek card… either a rookie or Topps Traded, I can’t remember the details.

In any case — I guess my exposure to the Twins back then is what kinda what makes me want to see them win. Life (and baseball) seemed so much simpler when I was a kid, flipping cards and memorizing stats.

cswiii @ 10:41 am

You do it to

You do it to yourself, you do
And that’s what really hurts
Is that you do it to yourself
Just you and no-one else
You do it to yourself
You do it to yourself


cswiii @ 9:30 am