Saturday, December 8

7.5 gallons in 45 years... American efficiency at it's finest

I'm sure most anyone with a brain can tell that increasing automobile efficiency by 7.5 gallons in 45 years is perhaps the absolute least our Congress could ever achieve. Does it mark a change in perspective amongst our congressional leadership? Or does it just serve to highlight industry control over the public debate? No rational person could imagine these small steps as real change...


Washington (TGW) – A bill that would end billions of dollars in tax breaks for the oil industry and raise mileage standards hit a roadblock in the Senate today.

The bill failed on a procedural vote 7 votes short of the needed 60 majority, 53-42.

The law would require car manufacturers to raise their mileage standards up to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. The current standard, 27.5 mpg was passed in 1975.

Senators said the vote did not mean the bill was done for.

"This doesn't mark the end of this bill," said Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "It means we have to go to work to fix some of the problems that the House bill has generated for us."




Absolutely outrageous.

Tuesday, November 20

Reality Check Text Message Counselling Services

Here at Meat, Inc. it's important to check your bad attitude at the door. Life's too short and you're a bitch ass for complaining. So let's get down with a text message counselling services offered as one of our many complimentary services.

Client:"I was on FIAH last night. Getting cruised left and right, and finally bagged a hot choreographer boy I've been lusting over for two years. Go motherfucking me."

Meat, Inc.:"Hell yea. Sounds like my kinda party night. I just got sucked off at the house of pash. I could use some nerdy boys with 9inch kacks."

Client:"Did you get some hot Mark mouth?"

Meat, Inc.:"Sick. No. Security guard from University Hts."

Client:"You are such a WHORE. where does he guard?"

Meat, Inc.:"The Jewish Community Center"

Client:"Oh good lord, was he black?"

Meat, Inc.:"White as the driven snow. From Ashtabula no less."

Client:"I can't have sex like that anymore"

Meat, Inc.:"With white people? Geeez man. I know they say 'you never go back'... but it's just a figure of speech."

Client:"No, the HIV talk is too much for the average young gay guy so I don't have anonymous sex w/cute boys like that anymore. BTW the choreographer is white from SD"

Meat, Inc.:"Nice. It's not like I'm going around barebacking the city of Cleveland. I'm not checking people's papers either, what's a hooker to do?"

Client:"Didn't mean it like that. Most guys can't handle the HIV even being safe. So I don't even try anymore. That's all, nothing to do with you ;-)"

Meat, Inc.:"Oh. Serosorting? U just don't practice safer sex?"

Client:"I serosort because I usually get rejected if I don't. And it's easier just to beat off anyway. Zero bullshit."

Meat, Inc.:"True that. I can see that issue being a factor for anyone. It would definitely slow down sluttitude. I'm feeling randy, but also like settling down. Whormonal."

Client:"Yea, I'd try to date this guy Scott but it'd end in disaster stemming from his self-loathing. So I'll just be a load sponge and munch on his gorgeous ass."

Meat, Inc.:"Macaroni."

Client:"I've abandoned all future love prospects (in exchage) for self-enforced singledom. Nobody gets close anymore"

Meat, Inc.:"Ugh. You sound like you're wearing bad eye liner right now. But I know the feeling - Keep whats mine for me type thing."

Client:"LOL... no eyeliner, but my heart's been broken way too many times. Love isn't an option anymore. My heart is protected by a fortress now. Nobody gets in. Period."

Client:"And I have to remind myself of that when someone shows interest in me."

Meat, Inc.:"Yea. That works in some ways. But at least you still have to remind yourself of that. There's other ways to love people anyhow."

Client:"It's self-preservation, as unhappy as it sometimes makes me in the short-term. It's worth it though."

Client:"I show love in other ways. Usually through compassion and companionship. But as soon as someone tries to break into my fortress... they're kicked away"

Client:"Makes my mom sad though. She still has hope, even if I've abandoned it. Yikes! Downer!"

Meat, Inc.:"Yea. That can leave a path of devastation in your wake. I can see where the "Don't shit where you eat" doctrine comes in handy"

Client:"Oh yes... It's sage advice"

Client:"At any rate I'm glad you have fun with the Ashtabula Jew guard :-) I beat off last night and that's my Monday highlight. LOL"

Meat, Inc.:"I thought there was a dancer in there somewhere?"

Client:"ever listen to KFOG online? Such a cool station"

Client:"No... he got pushed away. I didn't feel like having sex last night."

Client:"Besides I didn't want to think about being poz for awhile. Not feeling like a biohazard was more important than ejaculating."

Meat, Inc.:"Yea. Geeez. I wish I was out there to allay your emotude."

Client:"Wish u were here too. It's really foggy and dreary... my favorite. No shadows anywhere. Very etherial."

Meat, Inc.:"Oh. You are really in need of some lovin'"

Client:"Self-love is what I get these days."

Meat, Inc.:"Yea. The only problem with doing things by yourself is that you're alone."

Client:"Besides this Scott kat has a ripped bod, a 10" cock, and a rock hard muscle ass. I'd be hyper aware of my titties and tummy which would make me funky & loathy."

Meat, Inc.:"On trust me. You sound loathy enough already."

Client:"And wonder why the hell he's showing interest in me... it makes no sense and is illogical. Oh I love myself just fine... I'm just realistic about who I am."

Meat, Inc.:"That's another problem with doin' your own thing. You cant see from any other perspective than your own."

Client:"Besides I've been a loner since I went to elementary school. Most people irritated me back then. The fog is making me funky I think."

Client:"How is that a problem?"

Meat, Inc.:"Uh.. You can't see the big picture. You believe things to be true instead of proving them to be."

Client:"How so? I understand what you're saying, just not how that would apply here. Explain."

Meat, Inc.:"People wanna buy what you're sellin. You're a hit with the gays. But the fact that you only offer a limited preview seems almost selfish."

Client:"It's not that I loathe myself, I don't. I'm just realistic about who and what I am and don't put on airs indicating otherwise."

Client:"I don't sell it, I give it away :-)"

Client:"thanks for the talk/reality check"

Monday, November 12

OPEN BLOG BRAINSTORM

So I'm posting this proposal in the hopes that you, the internet-at-large, will have something to say about it. Please comment, I've never written a proposal like this, but I'm hoping it finds support in the form of an institutional grant to The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland for development.

ATFGC Online Outreach Proposal


Through the power of the vast social networks fostered across the internet, the AIDS Taskforce can provide vital educational & advocacy opportunities that hold the potential to generate funding from around the globe. By creating a concrete presence in various internet venues, the ATFGC can increase it’s visibility in Cleveland, the United States and the world. Collecting, organizing and utilizing the information available to the Taskforce will allow for greater opportunities to form connections with the pool of compassionate individuals willing to offer their time, services or money to the various programs operated by the Taskforce.


The internet outreach program also offers the opportunity to shape the Taskforce’s image in the mind of its internet visitors. Establishing a “pathway” for new visitors to become new volunteers can vastly improve the effectiveness of the current scatter-shot internet presence. The speed and turnaround-time of the internet also presents the opportunity to respond to controversies and news immediately, increasing the Taskforce’s visibility off-line and providing a forum for interactive public discussion through a network of blogs and commenting systems.


The following table presents each component of the internet presence, all of which will be centered around aidstaskforce.org – a dynamic, multifaceted site containing the majority of the interactivity options and educational material. A presence on Myspace, Facebook and other social networking sites will still be maintained, but used mainly to direct users to the central site, inform friends about upcoming activities and volunteer opportunities and provide an informal means to contact Taskforce workers for private discussion and advice. Aidstaskforce.org will be built using the open-source content management system called Drupal. Drupal is a modular system for organizing and displaying internet content that will allow Taskforce employees to assume control of their respective roles online- posting content, managing public and private calendar events, creating surveys and mass mailings for their events and (with a small amount of training) removing the need for a dedicated webmaster on the Taskforce payroll. The extensible nature of the Drupal CMS allows for the use of previously developed “mods” that add functionality like Wiki’s (an online encyclopedia) – Donation (a pre-coded system that allows the Taskforce direct control of payment processing) – Blogs – Stores – Calendar and others. All these functions fit into a template structure that can be built once and then extended for years to come. By unifying the management of the website under one system, volunteer networks can be activated for email campaigns and funding drives, content can be posted that directly undermines misinformation from political organizations and information can be organized for easier access by the public at large.

Education

ATFGC Wiki – an online encyclopedia of STD & HIV/AIDS information with a focus on prevention, transmission and treatment information – directly contrasting the fear tactics of abstinence only and religious-based sources currently available.

ATFGC Video Archive – a collection of Taskforce-branded YouTube videos with a mix of comedy and sexual health education that can drive traffic to the site, as well as create a ‘buzz’ online. Ideas include “Straight Talk with Drag Queens” a talk-show format for sexual health info, “LivingPOZ - Our Stories” a documentary interview style series preserving the stories of HIV positive individuals and forming personal images of AIDS for the viewer, “Impact AIDS” a collection of PSA spots (10, 30 & 60 seconds) that can be aired by television stations and private blogs to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS.

ATFGC Direct – a collection of pages/site content that directly opposes sites run by religious/right-wing organizations and provides fact-based contrasts to the messages those sites spread. Ties into Advocacy program.

ATFGC Audio Vault – Podcasts, Radio PSA’s for distribution among local radio stations, and audio interviews. Have local bands provide free MP3 downloads available on the site to drive traffic.


Advocacy

ATFGC Blog – personal blogs from members of the Taskforce staff with news, activity info and public responses to current issues. Provides a means for web surfers to respond with public comments and fosters a democratic discussion of HIV/AIDS and sexual health policy.

ATFGC Mailing List Program – Drupal’s mailing list functions will allow for the creation of an email database that allows each address to be captured and coded based on both the user’s preferences for contact (from web users who provide the email address on the site) as well as email addresses collected from offline sources like the AIDS Walk and other events. Users can be contacted based on previous donations, event participation and even age/sex ranges (from users who join the ATFGC Volunteer Network)

ATFGC Volunteer Network – A mini-social networking program run on the Taskforce site that allows interested individuals to join the site, provide information and easily express interest in participating/organizing events run by the Taskforce. This system will allow for better mass-communication, as well as fostering volunteerism by directly involving interested individuals and providing a forum for their participation leading up to Taskforce sponsored events. Will also allow for “Virtual RSVPs” for ATF functions to ease planning and turn-out estimation.

ATFGC Blogroll/News Archive – A daily update of news links and blog posts on an RSS feed that will point subscribers attention to policy, funding and other hot links each day.


Funding

Direct Donation – Using a module for Drupal that’s tied to credit-card processing gateways or Paypal – visitors may donate directly from any page on the site, with payments and security handled by a trusted web processor.

ATFGC Store – Utilizing the tools available from the site Cafepress the Taskforce can create a portfolio of branded buttons, stickers, t-shirts and sweatshirts with no overhead cost and no payment processing requirements. Margins can be set and managed by product, and designs can be easily added and edited for specific events and funding drives.

Online Email Drives – Utilizing the database of email addresses, the Taskforce website will allow for branded funding campaigns that connect the public’s email inboxes with pages that allow them to donate, contact friends and co-workers to ‘virally’ spread the message of fund-raising drive and provide an interactive forum to track the success of the drive publically as well as a back-end admin system to track the effectiveness of the message.

Grassroots “Franchising” – The ATF can seek donations for the ‘Best Practices’ and Drupal configuration to monetize the learning experiences and reduce the impact of the cost of implementing this new system.

Establishing Best Practices and Providing a Road Map for Other Organizations


By tracking each step in the implementation of this program and then quantifying the success of each component the Taskforce can provide a guide to benefit other grass-roots organizations. Best practices in design, mass-communications, virtual volunteer management and back-end administration of the entire web program can be assembled after implementation to provide further resources for organizations seeking to implement a similar program. This information may also represent a funding opportunity, as a hard-copy book or pamphlet collection could be sold – or an entire pre-configured system matching the setup of modular components used in the Taskforce’s Drupal setup could be shared with a donation to the Taskforce being requested.

These best practices should also be shared with sister organizations in Cleveland to expand their reach, provide more visibility amongst associated organizations (through cross-linking, blogrolls, shared news and co-branded funding drives) and strengthen the online presence of Cleveland’s grass-roots.



Estimated Implementation Costs


Implementing an open-source solution for content management should vastly reduce the up-front costs for establishing this system, as well as the long-term maintenance expense. The figure table below represents the current known expense for the various components of the new ATFGC outreach program.


Component

Expense

5-Year Cost

Domain name registration and DNS

$9.99/year

$50.00

UNIX Hosting and MySQL database

$10.00/month

$600

Direct Donation widget

3% Credit Card processing fee


Cafepress.com branded ATFGC shop

$4.95/month

$300

Drupal template const. and admin training

$10.00/hour – est. >100 hours

$1000



Estimated Implementation Timeframe


Construction and configuration of the system should be deliverable within 3 months, with training and administration beginning soon after. Content can be created during implementation as well as once the administration is turned over to the end-users at the Taskforce. Each trained Taskforce user will be able to post blogs and content related to their individual section, while the community at large will be able to post comments and forum entries – further enhancing the content and discussion available to website visitors.

Monday, October 29

I'm still pissed about losing...
























The Indians sucked their way out of the World Series. That one took a whole lotta' suck too. Wunderkind/Disappointment Grady Sizemore is directly responsible for (excuse my stereotyping) Jew-ing the entire city of Cleveland out of the runs we deserved in the post-season. Any Clevelander will tell you that, and this gay, vegetarian, beer swilling, non-smoking, HIV advocating, jaded whore of a bitch is no different.

T-Thanks.

Wednesday, October 24

10/24 - Dental Dam Awareness Day
























You may not know it, but today has been declared National Dental Dam Awareness Day. Dental Dams, as you may or may not know, are useful for oral sex, STD Prevention, dentistry and looking like a complete fool.

Tuesday, October 23

A snapshot of childhood development...
























Here we have the earliest stages of Chad Fox's whoredom, scrawled like ancient cave paintings on his parent's basement wall. This piece (enhanced with cartoon action for effect) used to be spray-painted all over Cleveland and Chad, being the little whipper-snapper he is, copied the design and graffiti imprint.

Chad and the Foxes...

Great times to be had all around when Chad Fox rolls into town. Cleveland is a better place because of people like him... or maybe I'm just in a better place because of people like him.

Hmmm.

I will say that we've been having some good times down the street at his place, and he's even found some time in his busy schedule to come up to our beautiful tudor on the (respectable) side of the neighborhood.

In other news my friend John is staying here at the house while drama engulfs his previous domicile. He really likes the idea of selling foreclosed homes in our neighborhood to gay guys to fix up the neighborhood a bit. Although he wants to buy a house... which is just funny. You'd laugh if you knew the whole story, so I won't tell it to you.

Thursday, October 18

Hessler.org - Now Showing - All Ages
























I'm currently turning the site www.hessler.org in to a spiffy new Hessler Street Fair layout that I put together in my spare time... or is it, space time? I dunno, but the page isn't working correctly, and it's being designed by a committee, so my work will be picked apart by 4 people immediately, and then a group of 12 people once a month. Will it change drastically? I hope, the menu CSS isn't working or looking right, so everything's just simple. Like the person creating it all.

Wednesday, October 10

This is just kind of weird...

http://fredthompsonisgay.com/

This website struck me as strange... I think I should make millions of these types of websites... I mean, I have all this free time right?

Tuesday, October 9

The (White People's) Heritage Foundation
























Are you a junior or senior in college (or even an unaccredited institution like Liberty U.) and you just happen to hold dear the principles of right-wing ultra-conservative neo-nazi republicans? Then perhaps you should apply for the Heritage Foundation's internship program! You'll rub elbows with other up-and-coming conservative minds in our diverse Caucasian atmosphere!

With proper training and control, one day you may rise to our list of "experts" - leading the charge with their broad experiences in suburban living, white-people sciences and making things happen behind-closed-doors.

Apply today!

Wednesday, October 3

Oh yea? Well my friends are famous...





















I just Googled my friend Chad Fox... and much to my surprise... He's a baseball star and never even told me!!!

HIV... A Response...



















I wrote the above the night my best friend was diagnosed HIV positive. That was my one, immediate, freak-out level response. I've moved on to my second and third, namely changing my entire life and respecting myself and others enough to care about (and for) other people.

Walk With Team ORANGE

So I should probably say that while I'm not going to actually whore myself out for donations, there are many good reasons that I'm taking part. The first of which is that my new job at The AIDS Taskforce of Cleveland directly benefits from the funds I raise. The second is that The Free Medical Clinic of Cleveland also directly benefits... this is the place that regularly tests my slutty ass for HIV and more - for free, completely anonymously (which is usually how I'd describe my sexual encounters). The third is the fact that my best friend was recently diagnosed HIV-positive, my partner-in-crime for the past 5 years is suddenly facing an entire lifetime of treatment, of struggles and discrimination beyond what he was already facing as a gay man from Slavic Village in Cleveland (a life already too difficult for many I guarantee you).

So I guess you kind of know why I'm participating now... what's your reason not to?

Tuesday, October 2

Fresh


Sometimes you feel like drowning. Other times you just keep swimming.

So I know it kind of defeats the purpose...

But I will make-out with you if you sponsor my AIDS Walk Team. Which technically doesn't defeat the purpose of the AIDS Walk... because HIV can't be transmitted through saliva. Anyhow, I'm getting pissed off at my "Team" of fellow AIDSWalkers... We're walking for AIDS because we all went to get our HIV tests together (after years of slutting around town separately) and one of us drew the short straw.

Ever since that fateful day when one-quarter of our group of testees came up positive things have been rolling along. For some reason I felt like it was the wake-up call I'd been waiting for. Granted, I'd already been awoken somewhat by my trip to San Francisco... seeing an entire city alive with the spirit to create things, to make things happen - that'd been all I needed to wake up from my apathetic slumber and start changing my life. But this, this test, these results, the fact that any one of the four of us had the exact same chance of coming up positive... We'd taken the risks, we'd lived the wild, anything-goes lives...

And now we're seeing the light. Seeing that being 'normal' doesn't mean settling down, or settling for less... It really means taking care of your body, taking care of your future, putting others ahead of your own gain while you can contribute to them. It means trusting that life will provide for you, if you are willing to put in the effort.

So, here's what I'm asking from you:
-$10, and the next time we meet in Cleveland, you'll get a kiss from these pillowly, HIV-negative lips.
-$50 and I'll let you do as you wish with my rock-hard stomach.

-Donate $100 and I'll model the cutest pair of skin-tight underwear I own, complete with a photo shoot for your eyes only.

-$150+ and the plans remain open... The sky's the limit baby - and your help in the endeavor will determine how hooker-y I'll be.

Seriously folks, this is important stuff for me, for Cleveland, for people living with HIV/AIDS and for everyone who is affected. And let me tell you, we're all affected.

Sunday, September 23

(My) Tales Of The City no.1

Cautiously I stepped away from the airport doors - having flown in alone to the city of dreams.

I knew why I was coming, I'd been told that there was only one place in the world for me. The people who had told me this were on a flight about an hour away, everyone returning by long-distance jetplane to the same exact airport. It's strange to think that millions of individuals have poured through the same doors I'd just crossed. Strange to think that I'm not the first, or the last to reach for a jacket and a smoke when that brisk bite of sea-flavored air hits me outside. Strange... to think that although we - the group - are in the same place, we, as individuals, will never experience this place quite the same way.

However, a bit of an introduction is probably in order, you see I didn't head to San Francisco alone. The three men upon who's experiences and knowledge I was relying upon to find my way in the city had all come into my life in the six-months prior. Two of them had taken me into their home, and the other - well - he had taken me quite a few places. This whole trip had come about in March, when I first moved in with the guys - I would do their yardwork in exchange for the trip and the chance to see the city they loved (and knew I would love also). I hadn't been to the West Coast since childhood and figured it would only be amazing to enjoy all the liberties of a fully-functioning adult. There was also the feeling, tugging from some deep recess in my mind, that I could never see all that life was capable of just treading water in the same old steel town I'd always known.


Thursday, September 20

The Atheist's Lament


It's strange to know you're different,
even though you feel the same.

It's odd to know some people,
still play life like a game.

A game of teams and winners,
of divisions to the core.

I hate to be the one to say,
"no-one's up there keeping score."

Wednesday, September 19

I Watched My Radio Show Die Today


Today my radio show died. A year-and-a-half of building The Greenlight District on Cleveland's airwaves went down the tubes today. It's not because myself and my co-host don't care any more... it's because the station manager felt that allowing a computer to schedule a "formatted daytime program" would "significantly increase workplace listenership during the workday".

Apparently I missed the memo that said college radio stations are now the same as crap commercial ClearChannel frequencies.

When we started our show in the 3-5am time slot on Thursdays we didn't expect much of a response. Cleveland had another idea though, and soon enough phone calls came in from listeners all over town who loved hearing genuine human beings on the other end of the airwaves. It's been awhile since Cleveland radio contained messages about peace, freedom, love and acceptance... for far too long in fact the only messages have been about consumption, war and 'ten-cent wing night'. It's my belief that the human brain can only accept so much insincere dribble as what flows from the mouths of on-air DJs before it begins to reject them, to hate them. We offered the alternative - we invited our listeners into the studio with us to hang out, to feel free, to discover new and old music they may never have heard before. And we were rewarded for that sincerity in each of the fund-raising rounds that The Greenlight District was a part of. Our show grossed some of the highest receipts, not just because of our talent for obnoxious panhandling... but because of the diversity of our audience. We pride ourselves on breaking the established rules of radio, from our off-kilter music selection (imagine 1950's pop followed by 1990's gangsta' rap) to topics of conversation rarely breached on commercial stations (gay rights, religious overreach, crappy music on the radio). We don't accept labels for ourselves and our interests, and our show reflected that in the variety we presented and our refusal to be shoe-horned into the standard "[Fill In The Blank Musical Style] from [Boring Old DJ]".

That's all over today. The status of our show has been up in the air for two weeks now. Our time slot was rolled into the fascinating new 'formatted airtime' dreamt up by the station manager (one Mr. Mark Krieger, faculty at John Carrol University). Apparently ratings are the king of non-profit, non-commercial, non-NPR affiliated public radio stations... except that they aren't. The radio station's mission statement lists this major aim:

... the consistent delivery of unique and diverse radio programming that serves the interests of both the university and surrounding community. WJCU attempts to meet this goal by offering an eclectic mix of music, sports, poetry, ethnic, informational and public service programming not found elsewhere on the dial.
They are now failing the community, the legacy of WJCU and the local DJs who've devoted endless hours to providing alternative, entertaining programming to the community. The introduction of playlist formatting, of canned DJ spots (limited to rotating blocks of 10, 20, 30 & 48 seconds) among other changes severely limits the impact that this public institution can have on the community. The scatter-shot style of student-run radio is it's essence, the reason it's successful.

Sorry Mr. Krieger, but Clevelanders aren't going to tune in to more of the same corporate-styled playlists and computer edited DJs.

The music just got a bit quieter in Cleveland...

Monday, September 17

And so it begins... GLD Debut!



Click here to stream GLD from your Myspace.

What Would Jesus Drink?


During a Photoshop tutorial this morning, had to show my podcast co-host how to swap images into and out of photos with the program. She's in college and getting some intro to photoshop instruction, but it seems like I'm doing all of the work for her... poorly... hmmm.

This image we created made me think though - if Jesus were hangin' out in 2007 what would he drink? There's obviously no shortage of alcohol these days, so he could get himself out of the "wine from water" business. He would obviously like something smooth, but with a conscience.

I did a very small amount of internet searching and found a couple links to environmentally friendly breweries. If you know of anybody doing cool things with their winery, brewery or distillery (or maybe tinkering in their basement) send me a comment. I wouldn't mind drinking the same thing as the modern-day Jesus.

New Belgium green brewery...

Wired.com article about green brewing...


Oh... and this post totally shouldn't imply that I'm religious... Just steeped in the Judeo-Christian tradition like most Americans... it rubs off on you like The Clap.

Friday, September 14

President Bush VS. The Mickey Mouse Club


After the shock of Big Brother 8's final HOH competition last night there was one last surprise for our television-softened brains... a special announcement from President Bush.

America's current HOH (to use the appropriate Big Brother terminology) appeared on screen, looking a bit withered under the thick fabric of his expensive suit. The creases in his face stood out more than I remembered, his eyes a tad weary, all of it seeming to speak to his trials and the weight of his burden... the facade was thin though. His opening line was constructed in marketing & speech writing labs to stir up feelings of pride and the growing pains of a grand democratic adventure. If he'd been able to deliver the speech without pausing at every break in the teleprompter I may have taken his words with a smaller grain of salt. As it stands though - it's quite apparent that President Bush has absolutely no opinion on the course of action in Iraq, has no internal connection to the words he muttered to hundreds of millions of television fans and lacks the intellectual prowess to address anyone - much less an entire nation - from the heart. It seemed like President Bush was a hand puppet, thrust in front of a nation to explain the actions of his handlers.

It was all eerily reminiscent of Britney Spears' latest fall from grace (or maybe, further fall from grace) at the MTV VMA's. Like President Bush, Britney has been groomed for the public eye her entire life. Since childhood she's endured makeup and bright lights, dance training and lip-syncing classes - all culminating in the past 7 years of super stardom on the pop culture stage. Since childhood George W. Bush has learned the ins-and-outs of corrupt political machinations from the first-family of corruption. His grandfather was aligned with Nazis and involved in an attempted coup during the Roosevelt administration, his father practically created the blackhole that is the modern day CIA and NSA, and he himself rigged business deals and played with oil money and handshake bailouts his entire professional career. So perhaps it isn't surprising that the unstable house of cards both of these celebrities have built are crumbling under the weight of the actual responsibilities required to be successful.

It does smack of the question, am I being paranoid when asking if this fall from grace is just as rigged as the presidential elections? Both Georgie and Britney are shuffled around by teams of professional image managers, all of their decisions are made for them, not by them. Just as Bush's initial Cabinet was stocked with marketing men and business leaders, ready to pull strings and implement their economic homicide - Britney's entourage is stocked with leeches and magic-makers, ready to coach the last bits of talent (and profit) from Brit's battered body.

I think it's time to say that Britney needs to stop playing the sexy starlet, and maybe focus on having a real life for the first time in decades... And George Bush needs to stop playing President, and start allowing people with the real ideas and real experience (and maybe the ability to deliver a speech from memory, not a poorly read teleprompter) to hold the reigns.

Wednesday, September 12

We're building a podcast future...


Clevelanders Rejoice! The Greenlight District is expanding from the confines of our stuffy FM broadcast to iPods everywhere.

Greenlight District #1: Cross Country Edition will be available by weeks end. It's all the craziness of the weekly college radio show with more great music - now completely uncensored!

Grab your downloads soon on this blog, our Myspace page or at Podomatic.com!

Tuesday, September 11

The Girls of Cleveland

Unending love goes out to all my fellow Clevelanders. It doesn't get much better than graduating college and hitting the booze and cigarettes!

I guess when you're living in a crumbling post-industrial town like Cleveland it's the simple pleasures that truly help to mark the passage of another milestone. I know I wouldn't have it any other way.

There's often this feeling I get when watching MTV or some stupid television show about glamorous and expensive lifestyles... it's hard to describe, but it's a smugness, like I know that all those diamonds and fast cars don't mean squat. Clevelanders all share this same feeling, we may drool over some bling... and everyone's gotta have their vice - so some will live their lives in the pursuit of material dreams - but it's simple pleasures we're all chasing in the end. They're the ones that pay off in friends, memories and the experiences that truly count.

Monday, September 10

The Lazy Houseboy's Perfect (No-Knead) Pizza




Everyone deserves a touch of gourmet everyday. As a lazy houseboy, I've had to find simple ways to amaze my patrons without much sweat off my back. There will always be those times when I'm short on ingredients (because I forgot to do the grocery shopping) or when I'm tired of lounging but can't find the time to create a four-course meal... this recipe is the solution. I've brought it to the table with "oohs" and "ahhhs" because it looks so delicious, and while it's genuinely easy - it tastes like a gourmet creation.

So first things first, your ingredients:

  • 2 Cups (Warm) Water
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 3 1/2 Cups Flour (I like King Arthur Bread Flour)
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil
  • about 10 Shrimp, tails-off
  • 1-2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella (to taste)
  • A Scattering of Grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 Cup Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 Cup Assorted Crisp, Chopped Veggies (Broccoli and Zucchini are best)
  • Oregano, Basil & Garlic to taste

The Perfect Foundation: Delicious Dough
  • In a large bowl, add your warm water (should be the temperature of a bath after you've soaked your tired body for about 40 minutes, just 10 or 15 degrees above room temp.), stir in your yeast (Occasionally I add sugar, corn syrup or other fuel for the yeast guys) and allow to dissolve and activate for a couple minutes.
  • Begin to add your flour one cup at a time, stirring each cup in fully before adding more flour (you should have a soupy mixture until the third cup- Add any garlic, herbs, cheese, etc. to your dough during the first two cups of flour to ensure even flavor). Add the Olive Oil and Salt to your bowl during the first or second cup of flour.
  • Turn your gooey dough ball into an oiled bowl, cover with a towel or a wet paper-towel and allow to raise for about 45 minutes. The dough ball should nearly double in size. If you're cooking this in a cold environment (Like a Cleveland Winter) you may need to raise the dough in a 100 degree oven or proofer.
The Perfect Execution: Building Your Gourmet Creation

  • Pre-Heat your oven to 500 degrees (Just max it out).
  • After raising cut the dough ball roughly in half and place each in a 9-inch round cake pan that's been greased heavily with olive oil, cooking spray or whatever lubrication you prefer. Spread the dough to the edge of each pan with floured fingertips.
  • Spread your Alfredo Sauce in a thin layer on each pizza using the backside of a large spoon. Then scatter your Assorted Veg. around in an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the Mozzarella over the top of the sauce and veg in an even distribution, leaving about a quarter-inch around the edge of the pan. Add your Shrimp in circular patterns, so each slice will have a shrimp at it's center.
  • Bake your pizza pair for 10-14 minutes, removing from the oven when the cheese is crisp and bubbling, and the crust has browned around the edge.
The Perfect Presentation: Plating Your Creation

  • Presentation is key to appearing gourmet. Slice each pizza so the shrimp are in the middle of the pieces. I like to arrange plates like geometric art pieces, try making shapes from your rounded triangles of delicious pizza, toss a little spinach salad and you're ready to eat!

Friday, September 7

How to quit smoking without killing your friends....... 3 helpful tips...

There's been, in my half-assed quest to quit smoking cold-turkey these past couple of weeks, a few gentle rules I've discovered to help ease the pain of withdrawal.


1. Inform Those Around You of Your Quitting Efforts.

I chose to inform those I know and love of my struggle early. About a week before my quitting date (you should always set a firm date to stop) I stopped buying cigs and started pissing off all my smoking friends by bumming cigarettes from them. Increasing knowledge of my new quitting drive each time they told me to buy my own damn cigarettes. Once the day came that I actually stopped puffing away it came as no surprise to anyone when I screamed "I'M THIS CLOSE TO RIPPING YOUR FACE OFF!" to the poor man at the Jukebox who refused to play Michael Jackson.


2. Isolate Yourself from Cigarettes for at least 24-hours.

This step is perhaps most important. I chose to isolate myself from cigarettes by being too poor to afford even a single pack. Wise planning ahead of time meant that when the shit hit the fan, I couldn't just stroll to the corner store for a fix. Make sure the smokers you know and love are aware of your quitting (see Rule #1 above) so they can withhold their tasty addictions from your prying grasp. Nobody likes a bum, especially one who keeps telling the world they're on their last smoke. So keep to yourself, locked away somewhere, until the banging sensation in your head begins to let up...


3. Try New and Fun (or Old and Boring) Activities!

I just took a steaming pan of sugar cookies out of my oven. And while it may be 1:00 in the morning, I know that my hands weren't idle, and wringing over a little nicotine... they were forming balls of fat and sugar into tasty morsels. Now, it's important to remember that smoking isn't just an addiction - it's a diet plan. So I won't be eating any of these cookies. I've taken far too many dietary supplements (read: speed pills) to choke any of those puppies down. These pans of fresh sugary delight will be devoured by my gay caretakers/roommates/whatever. Why don't you try something new? Cook! Read! Paint! Make handprints in mud! Whatever you do, make sure it can be done in little nibbles, like a smoke break, for at least a small amount of time. Grand ideas are perfect to piece together during those moments you're really craving a cigarette. Line up a few of these small projects and you'll be on your way. I can't say your brain is going to understand everything that's happening to it - but with plenty of distractions it won't matter what your brain thinks.


So there you have it. 3 simple rules to make cold-turkey a little less frightening. Granted, I've only been smoke free for about 56 hours now... but I haven't killed anyone! So trust me when I say that the tips above, really work.


Wednesday, September 5

Lucky Strikes and Cancer too!

New Man - Under Construction

Hey... guess what!? Starting the ball rolling in your life once you've reached a complete stand-still is really difficult. Let's be clear, I'm not talking hitting rock bottom and going to rehab like some Lindsay Lohan crackhead. Her and the wild girls of Hollywood are still trapped in cycles of vigorous activity. They have careers to save and calendars that stretch far out into the future.

I'm talking freak yourself out, childhood into manhood, step off the cliff, jump the shark type crossroads that are usually faced in western society with a healthy dose of exploration and failure.

I'm not prepared for that failure. I'm not prepared for rejection. And up to this point I've been tailoring each and every encounter in my life so that I can control whether people even have the option to reject me. That's not the case any more. From here on out I have to give up that control if I'm ever going to get ahead.

I also have to give up the things that have control over me. Goodbye cigarettes. Oh charming, vile snakes of coiling carbon. How your slowly drifting rings gave me comfort when I had none. That nearly silent voice, flaming death on one end of a lonely night - and my bony fingers on the other. I clutched you for protection in crowds, distraction in conversations, recovery on clouded mornings - when my eyes may not have opened, but my lips could find their ways to you. Goodbye you charming devil cigarettes. Such a friendly offering between strangers, a simple way to charm the unfortunately unprepared. Goodbye to bringing along a friend wherever I travel. No tell-tale corners showing through my pocket... and no lighter either. No rings of sickly yellow on my nails, those were just starting to show... but they looked so foreign on me - I've decided they can't stay. Nor can all the other foreign entrants to my temple ushered in by the devil's weed. No more monoxide, di-droxide, polyfoxhide or other will tar the walls of my lungs from here on out. So, goodbye cigarettes. It's been a good run, the two of us... well, one of me and thousands of you. Just a string of my DNA flicked out the window, crushed on the bartop, left to decay where it falls.

Life. Is. So.... fucked up.

Tuesday, September 4

Just a quick announcement: Chad Fox Controls My Brain

Just a little FYI -ForYourInformation... Chad Fox has really made a big impression on me. Maybe Chad Fox will make an impression on you. Here's his blog. Which totally details some crazy experience... wisdom actually. I'd say. Chad's like a zen school teacher at points. Other times he's like that slutty friend you live vicariously through because their stories are so descriptive. I can't really say why I'm writing this, or thinking this, or doing anything that I'm doing right now. I think I was looking for some sign that the world was interested in my input. The past month has convinced me that there's more to life than the rat race. There's more to dream about than materialism and fairy tales. And there are good people, doing good things.... and bad things..... and very dirty, dirty things..... And that all those things are happening for a reason. I need to make things happen. I'm capable of making things happen. Jesus H. Chocolate... this is going to be hard.


Tuesday, August 28

Back in CLE


Back to the reality check that is Cleveland. I rolled into town yesterday morning after a cross-country trek that took my sister, my radio show co-host and myself on a whirlwind tour of southern highways and biways. Never got lost once, although I think the little satellite jobby named Tomtom helped with that. I'm not one of those gays who can't read a map though - so we would have been fine even without space-rays guiding our vehicle. I'll have more on the trip in my next post... including a Cleveland VS. San Francisco beat-down, my 'Changed-Man' post, about how I'm going to make my way out to SF, and more.

Tune in to read about my quitting smoking adventure, the first step towards California living. All this and more will be yours when you check back - here at Meat, Inc.

Thursday, July 12

The Pounds Will Just Melt Off! (Literally)

Reports are in, and it looks like overweight Americans may get a leg up in their quest to shed pounds, although from the sounds of this article it may only be water weight they're losing. The geopolitical importance of fresh water is quickly becoming apparent, as wars have already - and soon will be - fought over access to the stuff (see here).

Now, living as I do next to the largest collection of freshwater lakes in the world (gotta' love Cleveland for something) there's little sweat off my back if the rest of the world runs dry. However it seems like water isn't the only thing drying up due to the strange weather patterns caused by mankind.

The poor Gray Whale, a Pacific whale breed known for it's hardiness seems to have lost it's feeding ground to a culmination of man-made factors. President Bush and his 'science advisers' had originally lamented 'Whale Anorexia' as the cause of the precipitous fall in the whale's weight. Luckily for the whales not every scientist in America learned the trade from their bible. "This is enough to cause alarm," says article's researcher. I say this is cause for celebration!

Americans have been battling obesity on several fronts (well, mainly the front... there's alot hanging off the sides and back as well), global warming may just have provided the solution to our nation's "fattitude" towards global warming.

Here's the prescription - which Georgie W. and Co. have been following to a T:
1. Drive up CO2 emissions by subsidizing SUV's and the assholes who drive them.
2. Ramp up meat production (and all the unfortunate by-products like deforestation/methane gas, etc..) and drive the ground animals to McDonald's as fast as possible for consumption.
3. Increase the amount of heat each citizen gives off, by wrapping them in huge layers of subcutaneous fat (a.k.a. 'thinsulation' in W's double-speak)

Finally - watch the weight melt off as everything around you dies!

Obviously people will lose tons of weight when there's no more food to devour during commercial breaks. Now, the past 7 years of 'whack-a-mole' politics and go-nowhere policies don't seem so mysterious.

Wednesday, July 11

You're (not) Special!


Struggling this past week to find a good topic to write on, I've stumbled into an idea that seems to be picking up steam in the US. The fact that coddling youngsters' self-esteem may not be in their best interest.

Besides the obvious implications for stuck-up suburbanites who bestow their little princes and princesses with titles like "Gifted" and "Accelerated" - the coming generations are in for the same mighty shock I faced upon entering the workforce. The cut-throat world of American capitalism cares little for titles, and even less for unfounded claims of genius.

Fox News is pointing the finger at Mr. Rogers and his "you're special, no matter what" feel-good brand of entertainment. While the laughable circularity of one dumbed-down television show pointing fingers at another brain-deadening TV slot is entertaining to us cynics, this time Fox may be on to something.

A Personal Story: After showing exemplary scores on the standardized tests issued to youngsters (The Iowa fill-in-the-bubble type), myself and a small coterie of classmates were elevated to "gifted" status. This meant that once a week we'd be removed from regular classes with our unintelligent peers for an hour of mind-stimulating games and activities with specialists in the "mobile unit" (a trailer parked out back of the elementary school). My participation waned once my grades dropped precipitously from the effects of bullying and extreme levels of stress at home. I was quickly shuffled from a "Gifted" program, to a tutoring program whose instructors eventually gave up on 'rehabilitating' me - failing to see that a horrid home-life, when coupled with ineffectual anti-bullying techniques led to a complete disinterest in what I was being taught. As such, the rest of my educational career was fraught with complaints about my "failure to achieve" in the face of "stunning potential" that followed nearly every review of my accomplishments.

What part did being labeled "Gifted" play in my own tragic history of youthful existential depression and eventual rejection of my pre-ordained path through college, careers and more?

I'll never be able to say for sure. After years of internalizing every bully's attack on me, and taking my failures to live up to 'potential' as personal faults I've merely grown cynical, apathetic and unwilling to exert effort towards any goal. Perhaps this was Mr. Roger's sinister goal all along, to turn potential leaders and inventors into malleable adults, fraught with uncertainty and the emotional trauma that comes from being told you're worth so much more than you are.

Self-esteem may feel good, but just as reverence to icons of perfection turns humans away from bettering themselves, the good feeling that comes from loving yourself comes at a cost - namely the feeling that comes from accomplishing what you thought was impossible. The costs may be even more extreme as my generation of "feel-gooders" shies away from the initiative that will be required to tackle this world's greatest problems.

Thursday, July 5

the Redundancy Movement


Finished... Done... In one short week I've blown through every single Hitchhiker's Guide story. The culmination of years of work by one charmingly witty Brit has passed through my brain. I never understood the whole concept back when I originally read the first in the series (I was maybe... 11 at the time). But now, with years of cynicism and knowledge under my belt, Galactic Understanding is mine.

And it tells me this: Everyone is, inherently, an asshole. So I should approach those whom I don't already have a good grasp on with the same caution I'd use facing a rabid Black Bear wrapped in explosives and muttering something about abortion clinics. Of course, I've never been one for caution - and assholes are important,,, I mean - how would we get rid of all our shit without 'em? So my initial lesson learned needs to be applied in a different way.

That's why I propose the REDUNDANCY movement. It's tenets, which came to me in a dream as I was driving in the countryside yesterday, are these;

1. In accordance with the second law of thermodynamics - everything will turn to shit anyhow.

B. The fact that everyone is, inherently, an asshole.

And C. Whatever you will do, have done, or have never considered doing, will be canceled out by someone not doing, doing better or being on the opposite side of the planet from you.


This is truly a call to apathy. From apathy arises... nothing. And nothing is something that's been known to move mountains (figuratively speaking, you know). Of course, people will wonder how the REDUNDANCY movement will ever make it's mark. Perhaps we'll be that final, unavoidable brown stain on the tight conservative briefs of America. The marked path to a turbulent washing-machine of revolution (not THE washing-machine revolution, which is another group entirely). The mark that shows how deeply this nation has fallen from it's roots of freedom into the hands of a rabid and heartless consumer drive.

WHO'S WITH ME!?

Tuesday, July 3

DON'T PANIC!


Another day, another terrorist attack. At least that's what I was expecting this past week, as news reports rolled out with info on the string of recent attempted (or 'successful') car bomb attacks. The only "moderately successful" attack of the past week happened at Scotland's Glasgow airport - and it involved driving a flaming Jeep into the front doors of the terminal. Sparking fears once again that our air travel system is going to bear the brunt of attacks from 'Islamic Terrorists'. At least that's what the global corporate media seem to be drilling into our skulls in the sort of rote pageantry usually reserved for American Idol finals and the sort.

This all reminded me of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy which I'm currently re-reading. It didn't just ring bells because of the obvious implications for sarcastic commentary and disbelief at the ridiculousness of this "threat" we're all supposed to fear... (early reports of Asian men running flaming from the Jeep and being forcibly 'subdued' by brutish Scots in full security get-up made me laugh, and maybe a little horny) If this is the best they can throw at us, let 'em. I still have the sinking feeling that this is just a government orchestrated scare tactic, mixed up with some heavily-placed name dropping for the Jeep brand, which has seen rapidly declining sales over the past couple years. This type of global branding will be a shot in the arm for gas guzzlers everywhere. Who would refuse a car with the power to smash through airport doors while on fire! Gosh! I can already see the commercials.

Getting back to THHGTTG, I think everyone could use a refresher course on this classically ridiculous tale. Not only does it chronicle the turmoil that arises from having your entire home planet destroyed by aliens looking to build an intergalactic off-ramp - but if offers up some simple, human advice on dealing with the unexpected, the unpredictable and the dangerous. Simply DON'T PANIC. Rushing off to grab your gun, locking up brown people to assuage your fear... these aren't tactics that garner results. Although they've certainly been used to garner votes in the US and UK.

Those of us with experience in reality tend to find all the bluster of red-faced politicians pretty tiring, especially when reflecting on news that 'Republicans Are Falling Behind in the Terror-Scare Rhetoric' that seems to have obscured all the vote rigging and chicanery during the last two election cycles. Is it proof that Americans are finally chilling down? Maybe people realized that the fastest way from Point-A to Point-B is not to FREAK OUT in between. I can only hope that a bit of common sense has arisen in our poor reptilian brains. All the confusion and terror that can be garnered by a worldwide media conglomerate is no match for the man with his feet firmly planted in reality.

Thursday, June 28

Weed works...

And so, I still have yet to introduce you to the fine tastes of my gourmet kitchen. While you're waiting, enjoy another witty (lame t-shirt ready) graphic, and perhaps a glimpse at a social phenomenon gaining traction in the US.

Of course, 90% of young people smoke pot, it's just a fact. In the faltering rust-belt it's practically impossible to find students whose tolerance for THC is anything below that of West Coast stoners. The simple fact that the majority of transactions and consumption happen indoors during the 9 months of frigid and snow covered winters in the northeast may shield those who partake both from public view, as well as each others eyes.

So I say, come out into the sunshine! If I pulled together all the disparate groups I've partaken with in the past two weeks I'd have enough votes to swing an election. So maybe a "coming-out' party is in order... on a very public stage.

Think about it, and while you think - read these articles that smell sweetly of a change in the air:

http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Stevens_Smoking_pot_akin_to_drinking_0627.html

http://alternet.org/columnists/story/55403/


As always, enjoy life, live free, and use these graphics wherever you'd like, as long as you don't feed the corporate machine.

Wednesday, June 27

Work for a living...

I know, I know... I haven't been keeping up with this blog as promised. But no worries, the simple deliciousness of my vegetarian conquest will soon be unleashed upon the world. Trying to quantify my recipes - with a dash of this and a dash of that... has been harder than I imagined.

So today I thought I'd share with you, dear reader, my latest t-shirt design. I'm all for clever sayings on t-shirts... as long as they don't just serve as walking advertisements for the money-chugging conglomerates that pack suburban malls across the country.

That's where my "Sell Yourself Short" campaign comes in. America is on a horribly destructive path of self-delusion and the endless pursuit of inflationary greenbacks. This downward spiral of consumption has disastrous effects on families, communities and the natural environment. People these days are so blinded to humanity's beautiful abilities to care for one another, and to truly be 'stewards of the Earth' that they've left behind all rational thought in favor of and exuberant and mysterious "economy" that operates with no regard for the damage done in it's name. I'm at a loss for solutions... I have been for two years now.

After a string of thankless jobs, low-paying positions and anti-democratic workplaces I've come to the realization that my desire to conform to work-a-day rules and regulations covering everything from my hair style to the actual words allowed out of my mouth is far less than my desire to find a system that enhances the human condition - instead of crushing the soul.

Today's Alternet article on the disparity in pay between plumbers and child-care workers lays out many of the criticisms I may not have been able to put into words.

Why Do We Pay Our Plumbers More Than Our Caregivers?

Read the article, it's one small step towards realizing an economy that works for all - not just some fat-cat suits with cocaine habits to match their billion-dollar stock portfolios. Maybe you'll see why more and more productive, healthy, intelligent young people are fast becoming disillusioned by the command economy we live under.

Maybe we'll breed a new meme... The consummate care-giver. Someone who's worth is valued not in the number of zeros on their paycheck... but the number of lives they've touched.

One more thing... feel free to use the image in this post, the slogan in your life and the values presented in your day-to-day interactions. Free yourself, your ideas, your country.

Wednesday, May 23

If You Don't Eat Your Meat....

Meat, Incorporated.

The name says it all.

Welcome to my latest scatter-brained pursuit. Although I'm a pesco-vegetarian I've always been fascinated by the way our society consumes and fetishizes meat. I've also always been encouraged to explore alternatives to a wasteful and destructive diet in my own life. I'd like to share the delicious, nutritious meals that nourish me and my household - which I've arrived at through a study of living...

Trust me, these simple dishes will knock the socks off your dining companions. And I'm on a budget too, so don't think that the luxurious tastes on this blog are out of your reach. I usually limit my preparations to 1-or-2 pans, fats in the form of Olive Oil only, healthy amounts of 'lean' cheeses, and delicious herbs and spices that completely eliminate any added salt from almost everything that comes out of my kitchen. When possible I'll estimate nutrition information for my dishes, and try to include discussions on diet & health related topics with the professionals I've consulted through my 13 years of vegetarianism.

You - the reader have the ability to be an agent of change in the world, and to make conscious changes in your life. With these simple dishes I hope to inspire your curiosity - in the kitchen and elsewhere. I know that sounds pretty heavy, but you'd be surprised at the power of food.