RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Saturday, December 17

Huginn & Muninn

So my absence has been part personal turmoil as I started having anxiety attacks do to the prolonged hostile work environment created by my boss, who also is my bro-in-law, and I didn't have much creative energy. But it's also just as much because whatever create energy I have is being channeled into a short story collection to hopefully be published in the next year or so. I hope that all of you who have regularly and religiously read this blog will also cop the book when it becomes available, because I am supposed to do this shit - I've seen it etched in quartz in future travels.
The work thing has been weird because I've never had anxiety attacks before, and don't much like them. I've willed them away for the most part, being well-schooled in breath meditations and removing myself mentally from physical situations - part of the benefits of a wild-assed upbringing I guess. I can compartmentalize well.
Strange thing is I had this dream last night - first dream I can remember in forever, as usually I dream words so when I dream images it is very vivid to me. This was that. I was looking through a window and this huge ass cobra was coming, like 20 feet long, right outside the window and poking at the pane with his head. Then these two huge twin ravens, like four feet tall when they landed on the ground and almost walking like bow-legged people, came swooping in and just attacked the cobra, trying to kill it and carry it off. One got it in its mouth and started leaving, then the snake, who was resisting with complete jiggly snake resistance, fell back down, like ten feet further away from the window. But the other giant raven was right there and swooped in and snatched him again and started dragging him off further. And they carried him out of eyesight in this manner, him fighting the entire time.
Being well-schooled in the stories of Huginn and Muninn - the twin ravens of Odin - I know what the fuck is going on with all that. I also feel better about my bro-in-law - the cobra - because sure he is resisting and manipulating as much as he can, but his ultimate desire is to destroy me because that is his cobra nature. But I have spirit protectors in place who can clear the perimeter. Which makes me feel better, just a little.

Friday, November 4

update

What's up peoples of the Cyberian Empire? Just wanted to hit you up with to let you know I ain't dead, didn't fall off a freight train or blast off into space with Mayan Prophets or start wandering the insides of Afton Mountain on spirit quests (though that last one's probably a good idea). Been cutting down on the Cyberian oppression of my life, as I sludge my way through some stories that have percolated in my head the past couple months, hopefully to be published as a collection next year at some point. You can reach me at all them places in the sidebar for the most part (twitter, gmail, whispers on the wind), so I'm still checking my Cyberian passports regularly, getting 'em stamped and shit, but won't be no rojonekku posts beyond the occasional update like this for the foreseeable moments. But I'm still here. And you're still there. So we are still connected. If that ain't strong enough, twit or electronic mail me. Or fuck man, if you put something into PO Box 270 Scottsville, VA 24590, that'd be like four cups of coffee and a line of crank all at once, because that is real. I like real shit. Real shit is the best shit. Always has been and always will be.

Thursday, September 22

Wednesday, September 21

Friday, September 16

p o w a e

smokestack brickwork like not seen
no more ascends from homeless
camp in an abandoned plant

t r e z m

dilapidated roots get
exposed as those with profits
in mind erode their support

Thursday, September 15

Sunday, September 11

Redskins 1-0 Positives/Negatives Metasciences Week 1 Recap

(kicking off another season of scientifical spiritual soul-jazz
about this Redskins franchise - and an
Armchair Linebacker simulpost)


[Each week, I will metaphysically speak upon the positive and negative influences on my beloved Washington Redskins team, as seen in their on-field - or television to be truthful here - performance. As the year goes on, we shall have a metascientific tabulation of who is the most valuable or biggest detriment to their future.]
The Redskins pulled off a victory, and pulled away in the 4th quarter, both of which were not habits of this team in the previous three seasons. They usually found ways to lose, or even if they won kept it way too close and never had that kill instinct. But today, they pulled it off, and didn't let it hang until the last possession either. That was relieving, so much so that I was actually angry at the end of the game because it felt odd and abnormal. But I feel good about this team.
I want to make it clear though, that my "feeling good about this team" means I think they can go .500. Anyone thinking playoffs, even after this win, is jumping the gun, and shifting into standard Offseason Champs Redskins fan mode, just a little later than usual. My feelings are that if this team can go 8-8, that's a successful season, because let's be honest - this is a rebuilding year, and the first legitimate rebuilding process the team has gone through in a decade really. And Snyder's various management regimes have left the Redskins infrastructure more damaged than Afghanistan. But Shanahan's in his second year, and I continue to stick to the thinking that we will judge his successes or failures by his third year. If they go 8-8 this year, we are on pace. If they somehow miraculously make the playoffs, then Shanahan truly is a genius. But he won't be.
However, enough of my jaded cynicism to temper my momentary joy at beating a massively hobbled and still overrated division rival. Let's get into the positive and negative forces on this football team on this anniversary of the terrorists hating the freedom to think either Coke or Pepsi doesn't kill you...
EIGHTH DEGREE POSITIVE: NT CHRIS NEILD - Neild was a 7th-round draft pick out of West Virginia, who had to pass up his preferred #95 roster number because a veteran player already had it. The fact he ended up sporting the old Dave Butz #65 in only solidified what I had thought upon first checking into this dude - he is going to be this team's defensive Chris Cooley - meaning a goofy-assed dude who is impossible not to love. Sure enough, not only did Neild beat out Anthony Bryant for a roster spot (and the number 95, which he wore today), but even as a back-up to highly-touted free agent Barry Cofield, Neild showed and proved today with two sacks and just generally showing himself to be a greatly disruptive influence as a true NT in Jim Haslet's 3-4 defense. And really, this speaks greatly not only of the Neild himself, but of the draft this Redskins front office had this past year, where they actually got a lot of value out of all their draft picks. If you can take a 7th round pick and get you somebody who could potentially be a legitimate starter by the end of his rookie season, well that's something that hasn't really been a habit of Dan Snyder front offices. But if this young defense can really shapeshift into a stunner on a weekly basis as the weeks/months/years progress, I can see this dude being the dirtbag NT heart and soul of that defense, while the Brian Orakpos and Ryan Kerrigans get all the Pro Bowl trips.
SEVENTH DEGREE POSITIVE: TE FRED DAVIS - With Cooley's knee all swolled up, and it seeming more and more like he might end up having another of those dreaded trips to Dr. James Andrews down in Alabama, the Redskins needed Fred Davis to show up the beginning of this season. And show up did he ever. Dude was playing like Kellen Winslow the Elder out there today, and his previous penchant for coughing up footballs wasn't there, as he held tight, even through a couple of minor concussive hits. He looked good, and like he can be that punisher on pass plays that Cooley has always been. (Before anyone gets all wacky again, like they did last offseason, and somehow thinks Cooley is expendable or too old or something, it's usually not a bad idea to have a pair of great TEs, if you can afford them.)
SIXTH DEGREE POSITIVE: OLB RYAN KERRIGAN - Kerrigan seems to be getting this defense quickly, more so than Brian Orakpo did last year in the switch to standing up as an outside LB. Still, Orakpo is a monster, and Kerrigan seems to be more one of those stereotypical gritty players, with some good athleticism to boot. He got pushed around a good bit at the beginning of the game, but settled in, and the tip and INT for TD to start the second half really helped set the tone for that defense to puff out their feathers and feel good. It's as great a first round rookie debut as I can remember in the Snyder years.
FIFTH DEGREE POSITIVE: LB ROCKY MCINTOSH - When the Redskins passed on the retreads available to them and kept Rocky McIntosh, I have to admit I was not too excited. McIntosh never really developed into what he was supposed to be coming out of the U of Miami. But man, he was all over the place today, and actually looked a good bit like his mid-field mentor London Fletcher at times. Maybe a new contract and showing him he was still wanted here gave Rocky some comfort and confidence. Lord knows Sam Huff loves him. This was the best game I can remember McIntosh playing in a while.
FOURTH DEGREE POSITIVE: LB LONDON FLETCHER - Look, even if he doesn't have a highlight reel stop or sack or anything, Fletcher is going to be a positive for this team. There are very few on-field coaches of London Fletcher's caliber. In fact, probably the only other one was Peyton Manning, and he's out with a crookneck. Very fitting that London Fletcher now has the longest active continuous games started streak in the NFL after Peyton clocked out for the first time in a decade. About the best thing you could say for a player to show how much you think of them is to wish they finished out their career on your team; I hope London Fletcher is a fucking coach here the day he hangs up his cleats. I don't want that dude to ever leave.
THIRD DEGREE POSITIVE: WR SANTANA MOSS - I have bad-mouthed Santana and threw him under the bus when he had shady ties to that Canadian HGH doctor, but Santana just keeps proving you wrong. He's always a consistent presence on offense. He's not gonna have a gamebreaker player at his age, and he's going to over-celebrate every fucking meaningless first down he gets, which is annoying, even as a Redskins fan (probably because Art Monk is the high watermark at the position, and Art would never do vainglorious shit like that), but Moss gets his. It can't really be considered his fault the Redskins mostly ran with just him as a competent WR many seasons. This year though, looks to be different, and if Santana can continue to be Santana, it won't be as intolerable if it's part of a larger receiving corps, like it was today.
SECOND DEGREE POSITIVE: WR ANTHONY ARMSTRONG - Double A still shows some of the signs of a guy who played in arena football - dropping passes at times, making mistakes. But the dude is a blazer, and a true deep threat, and hard to not love the dude either, knowing his history as a football player. Every time they went deep to him, it got my adrenaline pumping, and I'm glad he got that TD. Oh man, that one pass that got knocked away at the 10 or so? That would've been immense had he caught that. I think that would've blown this game wide open.
FIRST DEGREE POSITIVE: CB DEANGELO HALL - Hall is never as good as he would have you believe, but I did not see him falling on his face as a Giants WR burned him down the sidelines for a TD, like sometimes can happen with #23. And he gave Manning a nice, painful shot when he got a clear line on him from a CB blitz. All in all, when the weakest part of this potentially wondrous defense is the secondary, and Hall is the leader by default of that secondary, if he can at least look competent and have a presence, then I'm gonna be happy with him.
STAY MEDIUM DEGREE: QB REX GROSSMAN - If you saw the highlight clips and stat lines, it may look like Rex Grossman has resurrected his career this weekend. But as someone who watched every down, let me tell you, there's a lot of the old Rex Grossman left inside the Rex Grossman who started at QB today. Aikman/Buck really pushed the angle of how this system limits Grossman's abilities to make mistakes, and said Grossman even said so himself. But if you have to limit the stupid mistakes your QB makes because he is stupid, well, that's not so good. My man Mavpa Van Cleef put it best when he said Grossman looks like a 15-year-old playing Madden, running backwards for 20 yards then mashing all the buttons at once. No starting NFL QB should lose 18 yards on a sack, like Grossman did today. And he flew some floaters up three or four times that are gonna make better secondaries salivate during film studies. Not to mention some of the high passes he was laying guys up with in the first half that would've gotten them knocked the fuck out, if the Giants had even half a Laron Landry lurking in their defensive backfield. That being said, he won today, so I can't outright hate the dude, though I do feel the whole John Beck/Rex Grossman QB battle was just a long con by the Shanahans to not have to admit they were going to start Grossman from the beginning, because people like me would've been like, "BOOOOOOOO!" about us ending last season with a questionable offensive line and a shitty QB, and not having done a damn thing to address that before this season.
FIRST DEGREE NEGATIVE: K GRAHAM GANO - Gano looked dialed in during the preaseson. First attempt today - just right, showing us that Gano is already in mid-season form. What the fuck man? Are there just no decent placekickers left in this world? Shouldn't there be a second generation of Zendejas kids coming up by now?
SECOND DEGREE NEGATIVE: S REED DOUGHTY - Reed Doughty is one of those guys who ends up coaching high school football and you read about him and they say he had a 9-year NFL career and you think to yourself, "Reed who?" Somehow, he practices well, and tries hard, and is legally deaf, and makes this team every year. And somehow, somebody gets injured (or sucks, if they are Adam Archuleta) and Reed Doughty gets on the field. And then Reed Doughty gets owned, regularly. He is quite simply not an NFL starter, not even due to injury nor illness nor having three other safeties arrested and suspended all at once. He's not an NFL starter. By all accounts, he's a chill dude, and a solid locker room presence, but he is not very good. You could make a highlight package of him having notable moments of suck (the end of the Texans game last year comes immediately to mind, where Andre Johnson and Doughty jump for the same pass, and it looks like Doughty jumped from four feet lower). Today, I was embarrassed for Doughty at times. He was manhandled at the line, and he was spun around or out of position multiple times, giving up long passes. Laron Landry is a dominator on defense, and I want him to be 100% so badly because he will fuck up some motherfuckers, but hell man, I'd be glad with him just standing around out there at half-speed than Reed Doughty playing. The dude is a straight up liability.
THIRD DEGREE NEGATIVE: OWNER DAN SNYDER - Things looked better today, and it seems Shanahan & Son are giving this team some needed direction. But make no mistake about it, Snyder lurks. As Redskins fans, we are like the poor villagers of a fairy tale kingdom, with an evil King who doesn't deserve the crown, who stole it from the previous King, with whom we'd known wonderful successes as a people. And even if our collective fortunes turn, we are still under the rein of this demented syphilitic-brained King of ours, and all it takes is one bright blast of his ridiculous incompetence, and all that had been built over the past couple of years will be unraveled. Seriously, there was a PR story in today's Washington Post about Snyder wanting to hire Shanahan that had tons of fingerprints of Snyder's PR guys all over it that really allows me to tell the full tale of what an evil and manipulative piece of shit owner Dan Snyder is - and the story was meant to be a positive one! Also, on the night before the season starts, Snyder dropped his defamation lawsuit against the Washington City Paper because various news outlets were going to report that Snyder never actually read the piece in question. A fucking first class piece of shit, self-important and delusional, and the most I can hope for is him not having a reason to start running people off and waving his little dick around to show how important he is and how much he only wants to win and what a true Redskin fan he is, not a stupid asshole businessman who has fucked up a once proud franchise with steady illogical meddling from the owner's box.
ACCUMULATED INFLUENCES UPON THIS FRANCHISE 2011, BEST TO WORST: NT Chris Neild (+8), TE Fred Davis (+7), OLB Ryan Kerrigan (+6), LB Rocky McIntosh (+5), LB London Fletcher (+4), WR Santana Moss (+3), WR Anthony Armstrong (+2), CB DeAngelo Hall (+1), QB Rex Grossman (even), K Graham Gano (-1), S Reed Doughty (-2), owner Dan Snyder (-3).

Thursday, September 8

Ultimate 100: 65 thru 61

#65: SAM STOUT vs. SPENCER FISHER - I do not care and am sewing patches onto my patch jacket so my reviews will be shorter and stupider, which is probably better anyways. Sam Stout is not a beer, contrary to his name, and Spencer Fisher is a leprechaun looking motherfucker, and has bad tribal armband tattoos so he is probably better, of course. The Irish got a bloody eye, but kinda dominated at least from what I heard while not paying attention. The other dude is a kickboxer and the Joe Rogan stupid color commentator guy was like, "Oh you don't become a world champion kickboxer by being a pussy." I hate using that term "pussy" for weakness. The vagina is a strong motherfucker, and alpha dudes need to get over this aversion to acknowledging the power of the vagina. I am alpha as hell and will love on a vagina all day long, and never call it derogatory slang terms, ever, even if I was writing gangsta rap songs, because a true gangsta fucks up conventional thinking with his gangsta ways, not perpetuates tired stereotypes. The little Irish leprechaun dude won, and he looks old in the eyes, like he has seen things - strange nasty things that can't be unseen.
#64: CHUCK LIDDELL vs. RENATO SOBRAL - I would doubt the little fake Travis Bickle ultimate fighter Dana White pal numero uno Chuck Liddell aka the stupid fucking Iceman is going to lose in this thing at all. This is starting to seem like one of those WWE DVD sets where they push the internal corporate agenda instead of give you an actual compendium of the best shit. Of course if you want an actual compendium of the best shit, that involves going inside the interwebs and having a group of nerds analyze, rank, and dissect all the possible fights, and your getting into real hollow-point-bullet-into-your-own-brain territory once you go there.
Oh, I always read dudes talking about Babalu and I never knew who the fuck he is but apparently he is the Brazilian guy partially covered in stupid tattoos who is fighting Mr. Face of the UFC Chuck Liddell.
Liddell is basically punching the fuck out of him, but the Babalu dude rolls around to stop from getting knocked out, but it just doesn't really end because the one dude is on his back getting punched and if it was a bar fight it would've already been stopped. Travis Bickle wins.
#63: GEORGES ST. PIERRE vs. MATT HUGHES - Oh lord, not again. Didn't I see this fight already? It's hard to like either of these dudes. This is the type of IMMENSE SHOWDOWN that you hope Al Qaeda wins. Five 5-minute rounds is not promising, because it might go forever, but luckily Matt Hughes beats St. Pierre with a submission out of nowhere at the end of the first round. Thank god, although I still would've liked to see Al Qaeda win, being they were in Atlantic City when they did this fighting thing on the old paying per watches screens.
#62: TYSON GRIFFIN vs. CLAY GUIDA - Man, if you pause these fights on the opening pics of the two fighters, like I do to type their names, it straight up looks like a gay porn is about to bust out with Tyson Griffin and Clay Guida's faces. And MMA people say wrestling was gay. Although as the fighting is happening, I don't mind Clay Guida so much, because he looks like he would listen to some Kreator. Tyson Griffin however, no, that dude is not cool. I still have never figured out Griffin's back tattoo. LIke it's a retarded dragon eagle or something. And why the fuck does Joe Rogan know and care so much about ultimate fighting?
The Guida dude seemed like he was pretty great every time I looked up, because he'd be doing back spinfists or weird rolls off the Tyson dude's back or whatever, but obviously I don't understand MMA because the judges' had a split decision in favor of the Tyson dude. Sucks.
#61: B.J. PENN vs. JOE STEVENSON - Oh man, another B.J. Penn fight! I'm not going to pay attention at all! But I will let it play so I can send this shit back to Netflix and get the second disc of the second season of East Bound and Down!
The Joe Stevenson dude does this weird "AISH! AISH! AISH!" Monica Seles yell when he throws punches, which I'm sure some old ass dude who does maintenance in his apartment building taught him. Stevenson just got an elbow in his forehead and he is bleeding grossly, like Puerto Rican wrestling blood, like Mexican murder magazine blood. "Well, let's see what they can do to close it up," and the old Grady from Sanford & Son cut man is on it, earning them dollars with his voodoo magic. But they get into a second round, and then the Joe dude is punching like a boxer with his "AISH! AISH! AISH!" yell but all bloody and stupid looking.
So bloody but yet so boring. I guess this is considered a great fight because one dude bled a whole bunch. I would actually be concerned about this dude's blood loss, but then he gets caught in a choke, and he taps out and for a brief second while the camera is overhead and Penn is on the bottom reaching around with the Joe dude on top of him, bloody as fuck, grimacing from a choke, quitting, it made me realize just how disgusting this shit is. Not because of the blood, because I'm not like that, but it's just misguided alpha male energy, directed into a pseudo-sport that really is Romanesque. But hey, we are in the decline of the American Empire so it makes sense, doesn't it? Enjoy your handbaskets bros, I'm moving to China now while the getting is still good for English-speaking middle management types.

Sunday, September 4

Ultimate 100: 70 thru 66

Not sure what will give first - the end of this compilation, or my motivation to continue with this losing project. It's like water filling a rowboat, and I'm trying to scoop it out with a bucket, but damn, it's hard to care. I might just jump out the boat and see how far I can swim instead...
#70: PETE WILLIAMS vs. MARK COLEMAN - Old shit. The clock counts up instead of down. I am not paying attention. Every time I look up, two white dudes are hugging each other on the ground beside a chain link fence.
Oh wow, they had a whole long match and now we're in a three-minute overtime. This really is old shit, and I haven't paid attention to a fucking ten second piece of it. Luckily though, I looked just in time to see Mark Coleman get kicked in the head, have his eyes roll back into his head, and fall into a lump against the edge of the cage. God Bless America.
#69: B.J. PENN vs. CAOL UNO - I saw this fight one time before, and honestly am having a hard time paying attention to this shit tonight. I would rather drink my spring water with a splash of mango peach juice in it, and just kinda chill, maybe read some Chinese poetry, sitting around on the couch naked and all. But I can't take off my shorts, because I'd feel weird watching MMA naked. But fifteen seconds in, this was over, as Penn dropped him, punched him, then split the arena before Uno was even revived. Slow motion replay of the entire match took like twenty seconds, and ends with Uno in a lifeless hump with one eye open and one shut in a lump.
Haha, they make B.J. Penn come back in, and Dana White has a crewcut of dark hair at this point in his life. He look stupid.
#68: LYOTO MACHIDA vs. TITO ORTIZ - Hey, I think this is our first time seeing the bigheaded Ortiz, who beats his porny wife. I can't stand Ortiz, and he and Jenna Jameson as a married couple actually caused me to join Al Qaeda for about seven months a couple years ago. But then I realized they didn't actually smoke hash anymore when training to be assassins, and I felt it wasn't true to Hassan I Sabbah's teachings, so I left.
Lyoto is called The Dragon, which means he will win, because a dragon punch against a giant watermelon head is no for-real fair match. The crowd is chanting "TITO! TITO! TITO!" though because your average MMA crowd is half-drunk and half-retarded. Unfortunately it's the same half of them that is those two things, so they can carry on normal human lives, yet be completely dim-witted, and still function.
Again, I didn't care, but the crowd got loud because at the end of the first round Lyoto took down Bighead McGee and then started dropping elbows, punches, and knees to that huge noggin. When the commentator resets things and says, "Tito Ortiz, Lyoto Machida," linguistically it sounds like foreign jibber jabber while negotiating with day laborers. I mean, no offense to foreigners. I'm just saying it had an interesting linguistic rhythm, and English is what I've known all my life. And even more specifically, I've known southern dialect of English, which is slurred and drawled out and lacks a good rapid hard linguistical rhythm, because most of the last consonants in words are sort of left off in order to have a nice drawl. I think it's the humidity maybe, it makes our tongues thick with saliva.
The fight is already to the third and final round, and I have not commented much at all. That's what I'm going for here these five fights. I don't think you care for play-by-play. I don't even think anyone is reading this. It's going to be one of those things that sits on the website forever, and nobody looks at, then all of a sudden, like in the middle of January, some dude will send me an email and be like, "Dude! I read your Ultimate 100 stuff and it was the best thing I ever read. You are crazy!" and it will be true because the dude will be like 11, and I will have helped corrupt him, just partially, but this will be a gateway into deeper and darker dungeons of the internet. I can't help that though. Things are what they are at this point.
Minute and a half left and Machida is destroying Tito Ortiz, and it looks Ortiz, who has lost all three rounds, is content to just finish the match and go home to his skeletor wife's crumpled vagina.
Haha, Ortiz got a triangle armbar doohickey with half a minute left, but Machida squirmed away from watermelon doom, and made it to the final airhorn. Both men are on their knees and give each other the bow of honor. Fuck honor.
#67: SHONIE CARTER vs. MATT SERRA - Oh man, one of the seasons of The Ultimate Fighter I watched was Shonie Carter. That dude is a hoot. He is wearing some garish speedo with all sorts of international flags, and already Matt Serra has a giant strawberry on his thigh. They are rolling around back and forth doing flippy flop shit, which means this is technically superior according to the commentators. Matt Serra is a grapple beast, and though Shonie is a virile and strong proud black man, the little midget dude from the northeast is putting on him. But Shonie did one of those spinning back fists while Serra came charging in when the spin went on, and got clobbered on his forehead with Shonie's biceps, which almost knocked out Serra. It was straight up kung fu bro, like you would expect from a black guy with a fu manchu.
Serra keeps catching Shonie in strange near-submission shit, but Shonie can just very calmly shift himself around and get out of it or at least minimize the effect so it doesn't make him have to quit, or TAP OUT in the parlance of mixed martial artistry.
Actually, I just watched closely for like two minutes, and this really is a fun fight. Shonie has gotten his ass kicked, so to speak, even though it's mostly technical ass-kicking and not literal one, but he might be able to outlast Serra's onslaught, and Serra is getting tired. We shall go into a third round and this may be a case of Carter just surviving long enough to put away Matt "The Little Tiny Intense Dude" Serra. Oh man, they seem to be tired, and drop to the ground in the guard right away. I hope this is not a five-minute group hug final round to get a split decision. Carter has underwear or a jock strap or something puffing out the back ass cheeks of his international speedos, and it makes it look like he's wearing a diaper. Maybe he is, who knows?
With like 15 seconds left in the last round, Shonie actually nails one of those spinning backfists, and Serra goes down blank-eyed, so Shonie shimmies in celebratory glee, and it is over very amusingly. Kong fu ass brotha.
#66: GEORGES ST. PIERRE vs. B.J. PENN - Oh man, my least favorite two dudes from the previous 30,000 fights NOW GET TO FIGHT EACH OTHER! THIS IS GOING TO BE EPIC! Epically suck. And gay. Although while they got their pre-fight instructions, Penn was just standing there, but St. Pierre was kinda lurching like he was about to punch or pounce or something, so I automatically have to say B.J. Penn is the lesser of these two evils. Still though.
I muted the TV and put on some Van Morrison Astral Works instead to listen to, and oddly enough, just like pornography, UFC is far more tolerable with the sound off. Whereas normally about two minutes in, you're like, "ugh, how fucking long am I going to torment myself by trying to get through 37 minutes of trifling bullshit for that four minute part that's cool," with the sound off you can just tune in and tune out and eventually you develop an extra sense to where your peripheral vision knows that awesome shit is about to happen. See, I just looked up and... well, nothing awesome happened. Just stupid Georges St. Pierre trying to move in and punch Penn upside his coconut. As the first round ended I did notice that Penn's trunks have a pretend black belt around the waistline with pretend straps screen-printed down the front like it was a real black belt. That's fucking stupid. And between rounds St. Pierre has some dude massaging his temples like reiki. That's strange, and out of place, and makes me uncomfortable to be honest with you.
Every time I look up, it's Penn on his back and St. Pierre moving all around on top of him, so without the sound on, I have to assume St. Pierre has dominated this fight. Yeah, the round ended and I just saw a highlight reel of St. Pierre concussing Penn, cracking his ribs with a knee, and just straight bitch-punking him. In a battle between two evils, the lesser of two evils never actually wins, because evil wins, and the lesser one tends to suck, so why am I even watching this stupid evil shit?
Fuck, the third round ended and they are talking to the dudes in their corners, meaning this is a five-round affair. I think I will go to sleep on the couch. SEE YOU NEXT TIME ANYONE WHO ACTUALLY SEES THIS WITH THEIR EYES AND CAN PROCESS THE MARKINGS INTO COMMUNICATED LANGUAGE!
(Whoa, I woke up and St. Pierre must have won because him and two other dudes were wearing matching shirts and were bouncing around in a circle with their arms interlocked and heads leaning in on each other in some weird ass French Canadian celebration jig. It kinda freaked me out. No one should wake up from starting to fall asleep and be greeted with something like that, because once you see something, you can't unsee it. That's inside me forever now.)

Saturday, September 3

Ultimate 100: 75 thru 71

Sigh. What a stupid fucking idea this was. Oh well...
#75: ROYCE GRACIE vs. GERARD GORDEAU - This is from the very first UFC tournament, and Gracie is actually wearing a full gi, and I guess this is the end of the tournament. Did I not see this before? I thought I watched all the early UFCs back in the day, actually a few of them with the drummer from Lamb of God back before he was a rock-n-roll drummer and was just this dude Chris and we both had wives/girlfriends, and they'd get high and we'd drink beer and play Sega or watch UFC or something. But I don't remember a Gerard Gordeau at all. Maybe this is for retro value as the main event of the first ever UFC, and to give Royce Gracie some early pioneer of our great pseudo-sport love. Gracie is slowly and methodically getting around to a naked choke, and the crowd is booing, and the announcers are explaining it, and wow, it's really funny to see how far we've been educated by these programs to know what the fuck is up. They are explaining the tap out, and I think that's George Foreman talking on commentary. Man, low budget as fuck. They even use a boxing/wrestling ring bell instead of the air horn. But they were nice enough to give us a long, boring interview with Royce, even asking about why he wore a gi, and what the rear choke was about. "There is no plan for the future. I am just Royce, that is what I am." Nice.
#74: RICH FRANKLIN vs. DAVID LOISEAU - Another Franklin fight, against the crazy black Canadian dude who I saw on some other independently made MMA comp, where he was just straight fucking dudes up with some next level fucking dudes up style. Here is in standard UFC looks, sponsors all over the place, on trunks, ring aprons, ring bars holding the cage in place, all sorts of shit. I doubt there will be some next level greatness at this point in Loiseau's career as it has been exploited already. That's the thing about climbing the levels of something like this - you start out on a little level, do crazy shit, people know you, you move up, so on and so forth, and even if you start at a good MMA school, you've got two or three levels to climb. I saw some MMA at the skating rink in Charlottesville, and Steve Blackman, former WWE karate character, was the head trainer of one of the four schools who brought fighters to this thing, his school coming all the way from Pennsylvania. His guys pretty much won every fight they were in, and were on a different level than the local MMA academies, but that was what these guys probably had to do - drive down to Virginia, run their record up to like 2-0 or 4-0 against podunk ass dudes, then move up to the next level with better competition, after learning some basic shit and experiencing a live crowd and strange opponent and all that. Levels. By the time they get to the UFC, I imagine most of their passion has been crushed from their soul, and they are just trying to not only get paid, but guarantee their position in future money-making matches. There's as much self-preservation for your future match-making position as there is protecting yourself in the fight.
That's why The Ultimate Fighter was such a great idea as a TV show, although painful to watch at times, because you bring in all these lower level guys and give them a shot to skip a level or two, on national TV, and in the process you create new stars for your MMA monopoly. Dana White is a genius at exploiting this thing to Zuffa and his self's full benefit. I'm amazed nobody has outright been like "Fuck you, Dana," from a high profile position and made a stink about the way this thing goes down.
Anyways, Franklin nails a near knockout punch on Loiseau, aka The Crow, at the very end of the first round, with the air horn going off same time Loiseau hit the mat. Second round is pretty much Franklin dominating the dude, with The Crow on constant back pedal mode. The crowd is chanting "USA! USA!" because Loiseau is Canadian and the crowd is fucking retarded.
Zoning out, and Loiseau is bleeding and Franklin was good, but as soon as I typed that, Franklin got knocked the fuck out, and The Crow went in for the kill, but Franklin regained himself and is back in clutch control. Loiseau's eye looks like it exploded, and Franklin apparently has a broken left hand. One of The Crow's eyes is almost swolled shut, which probably wouldn't be allowed to continue in boxing. When boxing is more stringent a sport than what you do, there should probably be some re-evaluation of what's going on with your sport internally.
They are in a fourth round now, and the commentator says, "And this sport is filled with really polite and nice guys." Yeah, whatever on that bro. Loiseau's eyes are swelling out of his forehead, like sickly looking, on some alien shit, and the commentator dude is like, "I have no idea how somebody could watch this and then go back and watch baseball." While I understand that, yes, baseball is boring as fuck, you have to have a certain suspension of sensory perception to accept MMA as a regular, chill ass thing. I mean, I'm a fucking social degenerate, and even I find some of this stuff (like The Crow's eyes right now) sick and disgusting. But I am also a scientist, and enjoy studying the human ability to be sick and disgusting. But they stumble around together long enough to let the clock run out on all five-minute five rounds, and Franklin is your winner, and getting pushed to the high moon in this series of 100 ultimate fights.
#73: GEORGES ST. PIERRE vs. JASON MILLER - More St. Pierre and this crazy Mayhem Miller dude. Like I think I've mentioned, I'm really not into Georges St. Pierre, and Mayhem Miller comes out the gate in the intro hype package saying his style is a combo of streetfighting, jiu-jitsu, Thai boxing, and something or other else. "Nobody in my weight class can handle my rhythm," say St. Pierre in broken English by way of French Canadia, and I think to myself "lolol".
Miller is unorthodox to say the least, and is making this automatically entertaining as fuck from the very beginning. St. Pierre through but missed a vicious backspin fist, which is the most ridiculous move ever, but still pretty awesome in MMA when it hits. Mayhem has a goofy smile on his face most of the time, or maybe he just looks like it, but it really adds to the fun of the fight, because he's kind of loopy, which he is. But then St. Pierre starts just clobbering him in the face, and Mayhem is bleeding all over the earth, yet he conceals it well and attempts to fight his way to the end. His hair is red, his face is gory, and he still has the goofy retarded smile. And when the round ended, that goofy fucker actually pulled away from the cut man for a second.
Maybe the dude's hair is dyed blood red in one weird spot and he's not bleeding up top. I'm not quite sure what to make of this guy, other than he's the best shit ever. He and the War Machine should just fight every Friday night. And Miller's coach is yelling at him, "RETARD STRENGTH! RETARD STRENGTH!" because, well I don't know, but that's what they're yelling.
Georges St. Pierre fight trunks said mopal.com so I just checked it in case it was wacky fun, but it was about mortgage brokers or some shit. Just another reason to dislike St. Pierre. But he's dominating this thing in the second round, and Mayhem Miller is losing his goofy smile. St. Pierre was on Miller's back, but then Mayhem did this head tuck flip roll underneath himself to escape, which was just straight crazy, and it seems like when dudes do straight crazy awesome things they say it's jiu-jitsu so I think I just want to watch capoira motherfuckers fight in the streets of Brazil. At the end of this second round, St. Pierre had Mayhem Miller's arm bent backwards and fucked up looking, but the round ended, and Miller jumps up, without the retard smile, but shaking his head stupidly like, "I'm straight, I'm straight."
Third round starts and they talk about Miller's history working in a junkyard, stripping parts off cars for other cars, and how he claims he's one of the great redneck fighters of Georgia. Junkyard dudes doing jiu-jitsu on each other just changes how I look at this whole thing, to be honest with you. But then I notice Georges St. Pierre again and go back to dismissing MMA as closeted homosexuality-based anger expression. Then I stopped paying attention because St. Pierre was just brutalizing the dude, but Miller never stopped, and gets a standing ovation for tolerating three rounds of getting his ass kicked.
Some dude is trying to clean up Mayhem Miller with a towel and he's like, "I'm alright, man, I'm alright. Get the fuck outta my face." Beautiful. It is a shame he did not win, because I want to see like 37 more Mayhem Miller fights on this list.
#72: MINOTAURO NOGUEIRA vs. FRANK MIR - Whoa, there's an obvious Brazilian crazy man named Minotaur with brown cauliflower ears in this, and I bet he is going to be amazing as fuck. Frank Mir is just your average boring white dude MMA fighter with either weird tiny tattoos across his belly, or strange hair, or Frankenstein stitches. Nogueira has an expression on his face that makes Tony Montana look friendly. Seriously. It also makes me wish Mexican drug lords started a rival to UFC, and hopefully lop off Dana White's head.
The fight does not match my initial expectations as the Nognog dude just kind of keeps pacing forward, gets knocked down a couple times, but does not get finished. He's kind of like Jason Voorhees in that sense, except he doesn't have a meat cleaver to kill the white dude with. First round is all Mir, and he's all smiley and goomba looking, like it's no thing. He should remember Nognog is Jason though, so we move into the second round, hopefully not of all five.
I have a really large television I just realized. We don't buy things, instead just using whatever the fuck we have. My wife's brother bought us our last two TVs, this giant one, and then the previous one we got in like 1998. Fuck buying new shit all the time. This TV will last us for probably two formats beyond blu-ray.
Oh, the white dude knocked Nognog on the ground, pummeled him, and won the fight He basically just boxed the dude right the fuck out. I wish R.A. the Rugged Man did commentary for this shit. He has a boxing book coming out at some point, which I think will be the greatest sports writing of the past 20 years - way better than that stupid soccer book about the dude that loves that one soccer team and talks about it that's supposed to be so great but really isn't. I've even blocked that fucker's name out of my head, that's how much I hated that book.
Frank Mir is crying after winning the belt, so he covers his face with a hat, so he's just standing there with a garish title belt, being cheered at, and hiding his face in a baseball cap where everyone knows he's crying, and yet it looks even stupider than if he would just cry in the open. Macho fuckers are so stupid. Which reminds me, the Macho Man would fuck all these dudes up, with that elbowsmash off the top of the octagon.
#71: TANK ABBOTT vs. DON FRYE - Old school throwback fight right here, a final of one of those early ultimate fighting tournaments, so both these dudes have already fought on this night. Tank Abbott, if you do not know him, is the most awesome dude ever. I had a friend who saw Abbott in Las Vegas one time trying to get more money at a casino, and they wouldn't give him more credit, so he took them to his ATM to prove he had like $200,000 in the bank so that they'd give him more credit. I found that funny, but also wondered why Tank didn't just withdraw some money at that point. And did he pay ATM fees to just get a balance? Because that'd be a real waste. Don Frye also is awesome, because he looks like Magnum P.I. but in tiny fighting shorts, and it's a straight up 15-minute fight, with 3-minute overtimes. It was a way different MMA back then.
Tank comes out like you would expect, beer belly flopping as he slugs away on Frye, knocking him down, and this is just straight up Philo Beddoe shit right here. Tank slips and falls, and Frye is no top of him, behind him, and then almost chokes him out. To his credit, Tank escapes, but this shit is way less jiu-jitsu technical than nowadays MMA, but still Frye chokes him out. It's a shame there's not straight up bareknuckle fighting beside old boxcars anymore, because Tank Abbott would be the best at that shit. The best ever. And I really wonder what Tank Abbott is up to nowadays.
Nary a sponsor on the apron, just the old Hulk smashing fist UFC logo dude center ring. It was not as technical, but it was a simpler, more beautiful sport back then. Tank Abbott is wearing Asic sneakers I notice in the replays. Man, what a great fighting tournament nonsense thing turned into highly-produced shiny garbage by shyster businessmen. (I thought for a minute of a good Public Enemy lyric to insert, but couldn't come up with one easily, so I'm just gonna give up and leave after this parenthesis ends.)

t o y z m

we all have our wars to fight,
although most are more conflict
without sensible exits

w i n d d

duct tape holding windowpanes
into worn down wood mullions -
still looks better than plastic

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - July '11 #8: "Satan Is Real/Straight To Hell" by Hank Williams III

If I could have one piece of music on vinyl to add to my collection, it would be Straight To Hell double LP by Hank Williams III. I first bought this on CD when I was painting an old dinghy building in downtown Richmond at night, riding a creepy ass freight elevator upstairs to haunted floors, alone by myself in this cavernous building. I bought Straight to Hell, pretty stoked for it, as I dug Lovesick, Broke & Driftin' a lot, even if Tricephus didn't. Man, little did I expect that Hank III would make a drug-addled masterpiece of modern American music. Seriously, I don't think there's ever been a better encapsulation of what it means to be southern small town proud but fucked, and endlessly talented but hopelessly doomed, than this double CD. The thing is the first CD is normally broken down into different songs, like you would expect, but the second more experimental CD is like the greatest shit ever done, and I wish there were whole genres of music like that CD, but instead there's been nothing else like it, ever, not even from Hank III. That album was done on the exact same type of recording equipment that Prolo used to use too, so me and Boogie Brown always felt an added affinity for it. When you make music in haphazard old ways with hardware not software, you become attached to those methods as not just method but ritual, precious artistic rituals that unlock what it is you are truly trying to do through rhythm and word patterns. And though that description is far too pretentious sounding for Hank III to ever agree that's what he was doing, he knows that's what he was doing.
But this double CD echoing through that cavernous fucking old warehouse on Franklin Street in Richmond, working through the night into the early morning hours, to where when I loaded my equipment back up so things could dry before regular work crew came in during the day, the streets of RVA had that beautiful ghostly silence broken up only by distant sirens or the shuffling of a drunkard and/or homeless dude across the street through the chill overnight air. Shit made sense, and it would always be after midnight, plus I had an hour and a half drive home, so I didn't have beer in the ride to travel home with, but this album would make you want to have just that.
In fact, this song - the first off the double CD, pretty much creates a Pavlovian response in my household. The ol' lady will crack open a beer and have extra sashay to her walk, and I will think about how great music through headphones sounds when you've taken 500 mg of oxycodone for a minute, but realize that's not where I'm at right now, and smile and act like I act, doing something like wrestle the dog playfully and say she hadn't earned that white patch on her belly yet, pretending to be an Aryan in jail, or putting on wrestling masks and running around the house with the little ones, and sneaking up on unsuspecting people to mumble "LA MOMIA LA MOMIA" which is Mexican for mummy. I still understand getting fucked up as shit, and appreciate it, and often miss it to be honest with you. But at this point, looking at how many chilluns I've made and the crooked ass world they're gonna get left to live in, I'd rather fuck up the world than leave it at fucking up myself. So I do what I can, when I can, and try to stay calm with that, hoping it's enough to quell my inner-demons.
STEAL "Satan Is Real/Straight To Hell"
NEXT
: Some serious ass sangin'!

Friday, September 2

r o d a c

beady-headed black vultures
flying like predator drones,
waiting to peck at my brains

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - July '11 #9: "Nomads (acoustic)" by Howlin' Rain


We are neural nomads, stifled into sedentary physical positions, but letting our minds wander nowhere in a thousand directions at hyperspeed cyberpace. We feel more connected than ever to our physical disconnect, and pretend this is empowering. Though it's nothing like the old B-movie sci-fi flicks looked like, with us blank-eyed, soaking in a body-sized cylinder of amniotic fluid with sensors and gadgets hooked up to us, unconscious zombies to be harvested by some higher power that sees societal chess moves we aren't even trained to understand, that's exactly what's going on.
My mind wanders constantly with questions and concerns about what the fuck I'm doing, where I'm headed, why am I where I am, and does it ultimately serve my larger purpose as a person? The answers are all over the place, as my brain has been shifted by the algorithmic shackles of our today world. Nothing is processed at human speed, with gut intuitiveness or chance encounters anymore. Your google search results, your Netflix suggestions, your Facebook friends, your twitter feeds, your sidebar advertisements and other items you might like on Amazon or Ebay or Half or whatever - all algorithms programmed by smart people with no realization they are ultimately doing the work of the worst, most vile marketers man has ever known. It is becoming a relentless barrage of consumer stimuli, even if there doesn't seem to be a price tag attached.
It sort of occurred to me today that just as the fast food movement that still occupies most but is seen by some as a slow death mechanism towards failure exploded across the American landscape, and still is far more prevalent than anyone actually slow cooking food in their own house for hours a day, because our pre-packaged grocery store options are just microwaveable fast food anyways, our internet-led information overload is fast food knowledge, little tidbits of alleged intelligence or knowledge about the world around us that actually is lacking in spiritual or scientific nutrition. We are actually making ourselves stupider by thinking we are smarter.
I guess what I am trying to say is run the fuck off into the woods, find yourself a sit spot, and read a book, motherfucker, read a book. I've got Ecology of a Cracker Childhood to dig into (thanks to a suggestion in a comment on this page, so please, comment and interact - it feeds us both in this nutrition-less internet), plus I'm back into my Red Pine translations of the hermit poets of China. Also, there's still some passages in my Outlaw Book of American Essays I want to get into, but I've also wanted to go through the boxes of old books in the camper this weekend to dig out both Hell's Angels by HST and a few William S. Burroughs books. I definitely feel like the way my mind has been lately, I could use some of Burroughs prose to ground me back to reality. Good lord, what kind of fucked up cyberworld have we wrought where William S. Burroughs grounds us? These fucking lizard alien overlords are real beasts.
(Also, props to the always awesome Aquarium Drunkard site, for first exposing me to this, or this to me, or whatever it is that we do in this internetted age.)
STEAL "Nomads (acoustic)"
NEXT
: The most fun anthem to reckless endangerment to one's self that has ever been made!

Friday Love/Hate

Hurricane Isabel cold rolled through and didn't destroy America like the media thought, although all these earthquakes in un-quaked lands and sudden hurricanes of fury got me wondering if those HAARP beam kooks ain't speaking at least partial truth. But the Outer Banks, a place I grew up visiting and love dearly, and wish I could afford to go to still, even though they've torn down the small cottages and replaced them with pastel-colored monstrosities that are a lot out of my price range (and fuck sharing a house with 19 other families - that ain't vacation at all; that's called gen-pop), got all obliterated again, with Highway 12 straight washed out for like 300 feet north of Rodanthe (plus oft-forgotten Waves and Salvo) and that whole Hatteras Island turned into it's usual newly archipelago after the storm. Of course, the government response is WE WILL REBUILD even though what was a naturally occurring barrier island is now being forced against it's nature to be a stable tourist island, to protect the economic interests that have been built on what is basically a sandbar. Of note in regards to all this is how Stumpy Point, a mainland town across the sound, suffered immense flooding during Isabel as well, and I'm not playing straight up connect the dots here, but when a barrier island is not allowed to float and fluctuate and serve it's natural purpose, then you run the risk of messing up the balance of nature, and you're gonna see more flooding and erosion on the backside of the sound, over on the mainland. This is what I hate today, man's incessant inclination to force his dominion over the earth. This is obvious to most people when they look at agribusiness or 11 mpg luxury SUVs and all, but it should be just as obvious when they rebuild Highway 12 every five years. It's pissing money away to prove we are Kings of Nature. But tons of nature loving people, in their own minds at least, have those 12 stickers on the back of their cars, and feel entitled to continue enjoying the Outer Banks, and it is a beautiful place to be sure. Plus, the cleansing power of the ocean is immense, and I probably need a good week of oceanic baptisms at least, after the year I've had thus far, both physically and in internal demon-angel battles. But you can't force that shit to be so luxurious and accommodating. So I promise you Outer Banks of North Carolina, I will not rent another house down there ever again (though I will squat in them if the situation arises... sorry barrier island bro), but will probably bring my family to camp along you in as unobtrusive a way as possible. If you decide to shift and fuck up everybody's material possessions down there, so be it. I support you in these endeavors, and I will still come and lay across your surface and love upon your beauty. In fact, I think you'd be more beautiful if all those damn beach house crumbled into the ocean or were in piles of rubble along damaged roadways. But I am a strange soul.

I love how our relentlessly corporate capitalist system is caving in on itself before our eyes. The specific example I speak of this week is Netflix, which lost a ton of it's streaming services suddenly this week, at the same time it is instituting higher prices to streaming customers, which could very well cripple the company, which like all online businesses, is basically a losing model that pretends it is making money by counting potential revenue as actual revenue and writing off actual losses against those financial wishes and dreams. It's all smoke and mirrors, like most of our financial blessings of the past twenty years. Meanwhile, as Netflix blew up across everybody's monthly bill list, pretty much every major chain video store went out of business. Gone. Boarded up and replaced by costume stores and Chinese buffets. A lot of independent video stores have toughed it out, however they can, and hopefully with the decline of Netflix, they will enjoy a resurgence, or maybe they won't. I would prefer all our businesses be weird dilapidated independent ones anyways. I don't like cookie cutter chain stores that all look the same whether you're in Idaho or West Virginia. Idaho stores should not look like West Virginia stores. I had to buy a belt for my riding mower (again) and I made the same mistake I made two years ago by buying one from Lowes, which of course stretched out and didn't work in like two weeks. Then I bought one from Tractor Supply, which did the same thing. $75 wasted right there. Then I went to some hole in the wall small engine place whose front door was actually an open garage door, and the place was full of machines and dank oil smell and there was only some guy in the back corner wrestling with a giant zero-turn mower, and I kind of stood there at the painted line in the oil-stained concrete you were not supposed to cross, and hollered "HEY!" but he couldn't hear me. Then some younger dude in a white tank top and grey work shirt with both arms covered in fast and furious tattoo styles, came out and said, "Can I help you?" And he did help me, by selling me an actual well-made deck belt for my riding mower, that cost about $15 more than the chain store ones, probably because actual people made it, not Sri Lankan cyborg children, and they charged me extra because I had to use a bank card, and small businesses hate those Visa percentages they have to give up. I understand. Fuck Visa, and it sucks that has to get passed along to me, but it also sucks it has to get passed along to the small business, so I can only hope they are at least meeting me somewhere in the middle. But I digress, because what I came here to love was how Netflix killed Blockbuster but then Netflix dies too, and somehow through all the soulless corporate giant battles, shitty little video stores that have porn rooms and art flicks from Nigeria will somehow survive.

S14: Worst College Football Teams of Past Decade - Division I

Might as well blaze through these negative Division I teams on a Friday afternoon, and do I ever mean blaze. Work is hectic and the threat of losing funding and being out of a job in a month has been dangled over my head as a carrot to chase that I will never catch, and it is a quiet Friday afternoon at the ol' government bureaucracy, with a long holiday weekend coming, so why worry about the future? Fuck the future! It is college football kickoff weekend, the NFL is less than a week away, I don't have to work on Monday and I will still get paid, which is really the dream of every American - to get paid for doing nothing. We have become a nation of useless fat asses, but we know how to make snarky remarks about trivial shit, so let me do my thing America...
#1: DUKE BLUE DEVILS (22-95, .188 winning percentage) - I was surprised to see Duke was the worst team in all the land over the past decade. I mean, I knew they were terrible. Steve Spurrier launched his coaching career pretty much by magically helping Duke win 5 games in a couple seasons in a row, which was considered amazing coaching upness at the time. Living in ACC country, near UVA, I understand that Duke is a special breed of lower echelon team, that when your own team start running neck and neck with the football Blue Devils, it's a major red flag that your program needs an adrenalin shot to get off of the life support its on that you may have let your guard down and not realized. Usually, there's one ACC coach fired every two years simply for the fact his team is not clearly better than Duke. Seriously. But I did not know they were the worst in the country, even more terrible than Sun Belt bottom feeders. It sort of shows you why Coach K is a worshipped false god at that little bastard university in Durham, and why he can do no wrong, even though the rest of us see him as the snake-souled weasel he truly is. But at Duke, they have nothing else athletically to feel anything unshameful about.
#2: EASTERN MICHIGAN EAGLES (26-91, .222 winning percentage) - The Mid-American Conference is a ragtag collection of directional state universities that tend to do battle on ESPN2 on mid-week showcases during the season. Even though it's one of the lower rated DI conferences, you still for whatever reason see a lot of their games on cable TV. Probably because it's like a Big Ten B-league, to sort of whet your appetite for the big boys on Saturdays. Midwestern people are weird. They play cornhole instead of horseshoes, and the land is flat and forever so that there's no hollers or hills to hide in, which instills in midwesterners a long, slow personality. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, it's just very alien to me, and I tend to want to fight people when I'm out there, because it's just weird. Then when I am riding home on the Greyhound after some small town has bought me a one-way bus ticket back to Virginia along with a threat to be arrested if I ever show my face in town limits again, I cross from Ohio into West Virginia and the land start to heave like a woman's breasts and I can let my breath out because I realize I am home, where people are like me, and I can be myself, and a bunch of ignorant assholes in cowboy boots won't try to force me to live within their socially confining norms.
*: WESTERN KENTUCKY HILLTOPPERS (11-37, .230 winning percentage) - The Hilltoppers didn't qualify to be an actual member of this Shit List because they've only been in DI for four years, after being a pretty successful Division IAA member for a long time. You subtract their initial 7-5 outing at this level, and their cumulative record is that much more embarrassing, with only four wins the past three years. And oddly enough, they are jumping into the Sun Belt Conference rather than the more appropriate Mid-American Conference, although if I were from Kentucky, I too would associate myself with the south and not the midwest. But the jump by a team like this that was good at one level to a higher level to not be good, but cash those whore-ish "come lose at our stadium" fill-in-the-gaps of the non-conference schedule games with power teams, I don't know... I don't quite see how that serves the student body.
#3: BUFFALO BULLS (30-89, .252 winning percentage) - Another MAC team, already. The funniest thing to me is that the Buffalo University moniker is Bulls, instead of Bills, and both teams are terrible. Somewhere in upstate New York, there are men who torture themselves by tailgating all day Saturday, drinking themselves to a violent stupor, and watching the Buffalo Bulls suck it up on the field, and then repeat the process on Sunday for the Bills. Upstate New York is a strange and terrible place. I have been there, and drank amongst them, and written cell phone numbers of fellow wayward travellers on the back of missing prostitute flyers outside of bus stations in a number of towns up there. In fact, Jerry Jukebox, I know you probably don't have internet access, nor would even know where to find this site if you did, but if you have somehow become internet savvy and google your street name, Raven Mack is still out there, bro. My post office box has changed from 569 to 270, but hit me up sometime. I still have the other half of that one thing. Hope you're good bro.
#4: ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS (31-88, .261 winning percentage) - The U.S. Army sucks. We are starting wars in Libya and Syria, to go along with Iraq and Afghanistan, with our internationalist creep into Africa just beginning, as Sudan and Somalia are right there for the fake terrorist threat taking as well. Did you know the alleged Libyan rebels are Al-Qaeda trained, and connected to both the CIA and MI6? Did you also know they are currently rounding up black people in Libya and putting them in internment camps? That's the rebels doing that, not Gaddhafi. Gaddhafi is actually a hero to the African people, and really to all of us, not the obscene terrorist he is made out to be. But how dare he want to use oil profits for anything other than corporate gain? That asshole!
#5: IDAHO VANDALS (32-88, .267 winning percentage) - Ahh, the meager Western Athletic Conference, home to a ragtag assortment of second-rate western state universities that apparently do not realize football is played with more than seven people at a time. Idaho has stormed out the gate with a loss last night to Bowling Green in a battle between lesser conference lesser teams, so it looks like more of the same in Idaho. As we start our parade through the WAC (four teams on this list of Division I's worst), it is mind-boggling that they could all be so terrible. Honestly though, I would rather a team called the Vandals be the good one from Idaho than the stupid Boise State Broncos.
#6: UTAH STATE AGGIES (31-85, .267 winning percentage) - The Aggies are another WAC bottom feeder, which I guess has so many bottom feeders they can't technically all be on the bottom. I have nothing negative to say about Utah State though, because that's where my boy Chris Cooley of the Washington Redskins came from. Simply because he is a straight shooting solid bro, I can only assume this is a straight shooting solid school. So they get a pass.
#7: VANDERBILT COMMODORES (33-85, .280 winning percentage) - Do Duke and Vanderbilt play every year, as the only school still trying to maintain academic integrity in a southern football conference? Because if not, they should. I guess you'd have to throw Northwestern into that mix as well. The funny thing is, when you figure in the fact that half of the SEC made up up this morning's best teams list, and you subtract the Commodores' conference record, they're probably an almost above-average football team. But the SEC is brutal. I have always been for a playoff system, and one that only allows no more than two teams from any one conference, because I think the great fallacy with the NCAA tournament in basketball is that the 5th or 6th best team in a major conference is somehow automatically more deserving than the best team in a shitty conference. But man, when you watch SEC games on TV week in and week out, that's a tough fucking row to hoe. LSU is a national title contender to start the season, and has 7 of their games against preseason Top 25 teams. Vanderbilt, without even looking at their schedule, I guarantee plays at least four. Good luck Vandy, I hope you ruin somebody's decade.
#8: UNLV REBELS (35-83, .297 winning percentage) - A Mountain West team, in case you are like me and still basically jumble all WAC and MWC teams into one clusterfuck. It's our east coast bias. I cannot imagine anyone being a successful blue-chipper at UNLV for football, as the school's only a short city bus ride from the Sunset Strip, and I would imagine all sorts of sketchy activities galore being it is Las Vegas. Actually, if you've ever wandered off the tourist track in Vegas, and ended up near UNLV, it makes the national powerhouse basketball years even more questionable, not in a bad way, because I don't mind sketchy. And there's something inherently perfect about weird old Jerry Tarkanian and his collection of thuggish but loveable misfit players being the best, and probably circumventing NCAA rules or having illegal organized crime fingerprints somewhere on the program. I'm not trying to be libelous here, I'm just saying... And it's fine, because if you have to dabble in the criminal arts, I'd want somebody like Tark at the helm. He looks like he knows how to navigate a multitude of personalities.
#9: NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES (36-85, .298 winning percentage) - Back to the whack WAC attack, with a second team named Aggies. Being they are both on this list, I somehow do not imagine the New Mexico State Aggies/Utah State Aggies fall interstate fall showdown for some sort of trophy like a bronze donkey or hunk of urethaned rock from Bryce Canyon is all that an extravagant affair. Although one can never tell, as the combination of higher education and heavy alcohol consumption can often magically create parties out of nothing.
#10: SMU MUSTANGS (38-82, .317 winning percentage) - As Miami struggles to excuse itself from transgressions with a snitch Ponzi schemer, SMU is often brought up as the last and only time a football team has gotten the death penalty. They've never recovered from it, and that was twenty years ago, so it literally was a death penalty. Although for whatever reason, as the Big 12 contemplates replacements for Texas A&M, SMU's name keeps coming up, which makes no sense. You already have a shitty B-level Texas school in Baylor; why would you add a second one?
#11: TEMPLE OWLS (38-80, .322 winning percentage) - Ahh, Temple, Division I's notoriously worst team for years, until Al Golden resurrected them from the dead. This is a Temple team that was bad the Big East said, "Yo, sorry bro, but you gotta go because you're fucking up everybody else's good time," and was relegated to the Mid-American Conference. But they've partially turned it around. I mean, they're not tearing anything up and having massive celebrations in the streets of Philly or anything, but they've had two winning seasons in a row, which is a big jump from just a few years back, where they had a 4-42 record over the course of four seasons.
#12: BAYLOR BEARS (39-79, .331 winning percentage) - Refer to #10 for more on Baylor. Anybody good in west Texas is still going to get pilfered by the Big 12 heavyweights like Texas and Oklahoma, and whatever crumbs fall through the cracks are going to be gobbled up by A&M and now even TCU. Baylor will always be fucked, and it serves them right for letting the feds torch all those innocent kids and women out at the Branch Davidian compound.
#13: SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (40-80, .333 winning percentage) - One final WAC team for you, and one that I did not even know existed. I'm not sure I've ever seen this team play before, but most of my college football awareness is from reading newspaper agate like an obsessed idiot savant on Sunday morning's when I was a preteen. Maybe this is a new school, created out of nowhere to serve a growing California population, and to further capitalize on the always booming industry of higher education, which is a money-grabbing scam like all other major industries you are made to believe you cannot live without.
#14: FLORIDA ATLANTIC OWLS (24-48, .333 winning percentage) - Florida Atlantic has only existed for the ten years that compile this record, and only the last six have been at the Division I level. You know, in the lower division lists which will go up beginning of next week, or maybe some tomorrow if I think about it, I made the cut off for eligibility be seven years. I must've had lesser standards when I made this one, because the Owls have only been in the Sun Belt for six. I guess Division I has lesser standards too though, if there is a Florida Atlantic/Florida International game most likely trying to include itself in rivalry week at the end of November.

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - July '11 #10: "Fool Yourself" by Little Feat


Old Little Feat is a good thing, and I often forget them but then they sneak in when I'm feeling all back roadsy and chillospective. I think music like this is dead because the times it came from are dead. The 1970s/early 1980s rural world where things were actually at a slower pace and styles took years to filter through sometimes, that's gone, from the explosion of cable TV in the '80s and then the internet's spiral towards oblivion in the late '90s, and now with robot phones attached to our fingers at all times and people walking around with shit attached to their faces to ramble out loud to imaginary robot friends about pointless shit while in the midst of their real life going ons, we may be too far gone. I even got an email from a Rojonekku affiliate talking about retailers setting up facial recognition software to work in tandem with smart phones so that coupons/ads/offers could be shot at you as you walk by places. What the fuck man? The heavy hands of corporate capitalism has decided it can never reach into our pockets enough, not even after we've run out of real money and use fake credit money, at least most of us do, and they just make it so you can be fleeced of your credit but still be forced to pay that back despite bankruptcy declarations, so really we are getting fleeced for generations now. It fucking sucks.
But music like this doesn't get made any more. We've listened to a lot of Zac Brown Band in my house lately, because the ol' lady loves it, and it's good stuff, but still polished Nashvllle. Another Rojonekku affiliate knows dudes associated with the Zac Brown movement, and apparently one thing Zac Brown said is if you don't know who you are before you go to Nashville, they'll eat you alive. You can see and hear that with today's country music, which is more like somebody crunching formulas through data than actual songwriting and touching on real shit. I mean it gets there at times, and that song will be a hit, but that's more luck of the robot program than actual human feeling being involved. That's why shit like Zac Brown and Jamey Johnson seems so great, even though I don't think it's where either of those dudes would really want it to be. But in this new-fangled cybertronic world, you can't really be free completely. You can either try to play the system and carve some independence out for yourself little by little, like a Zac Brown or Jamey Johnson, or you can just go completely off the grid and be happy that nobody ever knows you. The problem with going off the grid is that type of behavior is frowned upon, and seems insecure to the homeland most of the times, so you run the risk of alienating authorities, even if you ain't doing shit.
I'm not sure where I stand in all this. I feel like I have greater words that need to get out to greater masses, but I don't really have the time to go beyond the distractionary ramblings I write now. Perhaps that is the grid forcing me into position and I should break off that routine. But I don't know how a lot of times because much like our money and credit being fleeced by prying hands, there's a lot of time vultures, usually attached to that monetary struggle, that peck away most of my livelong days. I do this website stuff to tell myself I'm being productive, but I think I'm fooling myself half the time. The other half of the time, I don't give a fuck. Feel like I am already a beaten man, my Universal Potential locked up behind some bullshit that I can see through and know is there, but I don't have a rock big enough to break the fucking glass.
STEAL "Fool Yourself"
NEXT
: Some whiny ass awesome shit that's not from 19 years ago like most of what I write about!

S14: Best College Football Teams of Past Decade - Division I

The college football season began its thing last night on the cable televisions, and I had just forced myself to learn a bunch of dumb Excel spreadsheet stuff because I have a sexual fantasy about being a sexually frustrated accountant who lives in a camper by the river, so rather than use this newfound knowledge to make like a monthly budget for my family or calculate how many minutes of guitar solos Jerry Garcia had compared to Bob Weir on Grateful Dead bootlegs from the '70s, I figured I'd just dork out on some college football, similar to the dorky Best and Worst lists during the year, which always seem to generate ghost comments from beyond where some dude who went to like Becker College or something will all of a sudden about nine months after the fact be like, "Yes, Becker is terrible, I was at that one game, I'm glad you know how terrible it is," but I never see the comments because it's buried amidst ancient spambot replies and about 300 posts into the past, which is hard to go back to with my fractured O.C.D. mind.
Anyways, what I did was tabulate up the overall W-L record of every team in the Bowl Championship Football Subdivision (or whatever the fuck they call Division IA now in marketing pretendery), and here will be a list of the top 14 teams with the best record over the past decade, and later today there will be a companion list of the worst 14, because every stupid thing on this earth has a perfect companion; I read that in the Bible, or my grandmother told me that, or something. Maybe it was at the beginning of a Lifetime channel movie I watched once while high, and then Meredith Baxter-Birney got domestic abused and had some sort of cancer and a missing child but it all came together in the end, because she had a perfect companion. Thus I'm big on companions. But here are your 14 bestest teams, if you go purely by the scientific factoid of winning percentage over the past ten seasons...
#1: BOISE STATE BRONCOS (114-16, .877 winning percentage) - Boise State is the perfect example of what is wrong with college football, both to their credit and their detriment. First, it is utter ridiculousness that a team that has had two undefeated seasons in the last five years against Division I competition should have to justify a chance to play for a National title. But the fact college football is run by a bunch of conmen corporate lobbyists and the bowl system means there is not, and probably won't be a playoff system. This means the little schools like Boise State won't get a chance, even if they are undefeated. They jumped to the Mountain West Conference, hoping to join up with fellow small conference powers Utah and TCU, but Utah bolted to the Pac-12, and TCU is sharing space with the Broncos for one year before joining the Big East (for whatever reason). It's still a step up for Boise State though, who has made their reputation in a lackluster conference. Seriously, when you see the list of crappy teams, like half of Boise State's old conference mates make up that list. Not to mention the complete bullshit of having blue turf and blue uniforms and how that's an unfair advantage, plus looks stupid as fuck. They've built their underdog reputation on a bully's philosophy, where the deck is stacked and you play weak ass opponents, so even though they play the "oh poor us, we deserve a chance against the big boys," they are using that same big boy cut every moral corner to achieve victory as the big fish in their little pond.
#2: OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (106-22, .828 winning percentage) - I'm not a big fan of power conferences running shit, but I enjoy SEC football for it's brutality and excitement, and I enjoy a good Pac-10 game for its different style of play. I even enjoy the classic Big 12 match-ups. But I cannot stand the Big Ten. It is slow and plodding and boring, both in uniforms and mentality and everything. Ohio State, for me, personifies that boring, outdated bullshit from yesteryear, that peppers their roster with half-witted gangsta dudes to try and pretend they are as good as the SEC. The thing I don't understand is this whole "trading gear for tattoos" scandal that SI exposed, which seemed to me a very non-scandal. Like I would expect that at every school. I would expect you could find dead bodies and raped women galore around Columbus, if you actually wanted to look around.
#3: TEXAS LONGHORNS (106-23, .822 winning percentage) - I have not felt the ju-ju of doing these blurbs so fuck actual commentary that cares about college football. I like Texas for some simple reasons, despite their famous pedigree (although I root against them whenever they have gay fantasy QBs like Colt McCoy or Chris Simms). They were the home to Ricky Williams, Cedric Benson, and Earl Campbell. Their fans do the sign of the devil, and because of this one time there was a picture of newly elected President George W. Bush doing the devil horns while wearing a ZZ Top hat. I thought that was pretty awesome. I mean, it would've been more awesome if he hadn't have been the fake figurehead to help fuck up this country entirely to prepare it for the end of the American Empire, but hey, ZZ Top is pretty awesome, so that makes up for it all.
#4: USC TROJANS (105-24, .814 winning percentage) - There is not a more despicable college athletics program than USC football. From the ugly red to the yellow trojan logo to the honorable tradition of not having names on the back of their jersey to the paid players who helped run Pete Carroll back into the NFL before the hammer fell on the post-Reggie Bush era. Whatever happened to Lendale White? That dude was awesome. I always thought he was like Ice Cube from Boyz-n-Tha-Hood, growed up and playing football. Also, it makes me sad all Samoan players - whom I tend to love - either end up playing at USC (if they like pussy) or BYU or Utah (if they like Mormon Jesus). Seems like we should be offering those people more choices in life by now.
#5: OKLAHOMA SOONERS (109-26, .807 winning percentage) - Oklahoma is a pretty depleted place, that I find it hard to believe one of the nation's best programs is there. Really, after the pilfering of the Big 12, which is back down to 10, after being the Big 8 forever, it's really just a case now of Texas & Oklahoma and their sorry little brothers. You feel kind of bad for the two of them, because they probably could just jump to somewhere else and the conference would crumble, but they didn't. And then Texas A&M snuck in the back door to the SEC, which also is funny, because now either Oklahoma or Texas could be that even numbered team to go to the SEC and leave the other one hanging. Or both could go. I really don't care; but Texas A&M vs. Arkansas showdowns seem more like big Southwest Conference games than SEC games. This means I'm old as fuck.
#6: TEXAS CHRISTIAN HORNED FROGS (98-27, .784 winning percentage) - TCU going to the Big East next year is the dumbest of all the geographically challenged team moves, especially considering the Big East is a pretty declining conference when it comes to football anyways, to the point if somebody cherry-picked West Virginia, there'd be pretty much nothing left. Plus, TCU is going to have to travel three of four states for every opponent possible in that conference. UConn/TCU showdowns just don't really do it for me on paper. I wish all the non-BCS conferences jumped into a regulation system like Euro soccer, and like the best 8 teams from all those lower conferences over the past two or three years would form a super little conference each year, and newly successful teams could move up or get dropped if they started sucking. Off the top of my head, I'm not sure how great even that would be, because it would be like BYU, TCU, Boise State, and I'm not really sure anybody else from the non-BCS conferences are that good. So I guess it's a stupid idea.
#7: LSU TIGERS (102-29, .779 winning percentage) - I like LSU. They have pretty uniforms, and I don't mind the fact that half their offense beat up some dude outside of a bar, because it was apparently over a girl, and also because I expect them to be thugged out because they are Lil Boosie's favorite football team. Lil Boosie will probably be the first rapper to end up getting executed for being a gangsta. And yet his voice sounds like a cartoon got hit in the nuts. But that's what happens in Louisiana - you set your own style, your style is not set for you by others. That's why LSU has always had such swagger.
#8: FLORIDA GATORS (98-32, .754 winning percentage) - Did Urban Meyer actually retire? I think he tried to once but then didn't and then maybe he did, but I don't know for sure. I do know that ever since that Ron Zoot dude (or whatever his name was) that every time a major college football team hires a coach that the retarded fan base doesn't like, somebody rushes onto godaddy to register the "firestupidcoach.com" domain and throw up an angry picture and start a message board. I have dabbled in message board culture, and it's a pretty decrepit underpit to America's cyber pop culture, but college football message boards, all about one team, man they are the worst. And there's one for EVERY team, even the worst ones. There are people on a Florida International football message board right now, being all pissed out about something completely inconsequential. Which ultimately that's what the internet's best at - making us emotional about some dumb shit that doesn't really matter.
#9: VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (99-34, .744 winning percentage) - I always pull for in-state teams, and Tech has been the closest this state has ever gotten to competing for a national football championship at the top level in my lifetime. I was so geeked for that Virginia Tech/Florida State title game where the black Mike Vick was juking motherfuckers constantly. One time, I accidentally met Frank Beamer in a Starbucks. He was on a recruiting trip and right behind me in line and I thought it was him, but the dude was tiny as fuck. Then when he placed his order, I realized it was actually him because he had a big, gaudy ass championship ring of some sort on his finger. So when he came over to put sugar and cream in his coffee like me and like any god-fearing Southern man who knows that chai lattes and crap like that is a stepping stone towards anal sex, I told him that I had friends down in Blacksburg, and they really appreciated how he put the school on people's radar. He said thanks, and then I left thinking about how he exploits the raw athletic talent of wild, underprivileged negroes, and makes millions of dollars a year to do so, and I felt sad for this world, that something like that would be respected.
#10: UTAH UTES (92-32, .742 winning percentage) - Utah, much like Boise State, has thrived in a lesser conference. Now they be all up in the Pac-12, and I ain't gonna lie, I'm excited about Pac-10 football this year. I watched that Oregon/Oregon State game at the end of the year last year, and it was rivalry fury in effect, plus Oregon State had those pimp ass matte black helmets, and I think the Pac-12 did good, although I wouldn't have taken Colorado into my league, even though it matched the big state school philosophical blueprint. The Utes are still flying high from Urban Meyer's earlier building dynasties talents. Urban Meyer is the most brilliant man on earth. If I met him at a Starbucks, I would totally be like, "Hey Urban Meyer, let's make small talk because you are famous."
#11: GEORGIA BULLDOGS (96-34, .738 winning percentage) - Out of all the teams that made this list, Georgia surprised the most. I know they are good, but they've not been on top of the SEC outright at all, but I guess they are consistently near the top. Still though, they've not contended for a National title like other SEC heavyweights on this Bully List of the past decade. They do got some big, scary ass country boys - both black and white - down in Georgia though. I've been in some situations down that way, making trouble along back roads.
#12: AUBURN TIGERS (93-35, .727 winning percentage) - I find Auburn a boring and reprehensible football program. It was sad to see Cam Newton's bought and paid for services help them win the title last year. But I guess people in Alabama ain't got much except for overweight children, a barely functional literacy, and a dark sad future where they max out their credit cards at Wal-Mart Supercenters every year up until they get their Earned Income Credit refund when they tax return come in.
#13: OREGON DUCKS (89-37, .706 winning percentage) - The Ducks have more uniforms than some conferences have in their entire history. It is a running sports meme joke, but really, that doesn't get at the ridiculous stupidity of it all, being it comes from the Nike dude just trying to drum up merchandising anyways, and help tie it to his stupid alma mater. I am cool with where I graduated college, and I'd certainly give them some shine where there any reason for me to have shine of my own to give out to others, but I wouldn't try to force corporate marketing bullshit overload on folks to brainwash them into thinking my old school is the real deal. I might give them acid though and tell them how cool it was, being I sold a lot of acid while I was in college. Tripping acid too, not like concrete etching acid or body disappearing acid like Mexican drug cartels use or anything. In case you were wondering.
#14: WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS (88-38, .698 winning percentage) - West Virginia is a consistently good football program that never really gets the love from the other power conferences, mostly because no one ever clamors for the prestigious West Virginia market, and there ain't no high profile recruiting going in there. But if you were wanting a solid program, they'd be your team. I was always disappointed the ACC didn't take West Virginia in instead of Boston College, because it makes more sense geographically and rivalry-wise, as the yearly West Virginia/Virginia Tech games used to be great. But college football ain't about making sense, it's about making money bro. (Yeah, I could've done "making dollars" but it was too obvious, plus made me think of DJ Quik, so now I just want to wrap this up so I can go listen to some DJ Quik real loud in the other room. So let's end this.)