Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
August 3, 2010 - July 27, 2010

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The European Model

The NEW Dodge Challenger

BULL STUFF. So I was talking about the rodeo and an epiphany I had there. Mrs. CP has been giving me a hard time lately about all the ghost shows I watch -- Celebrity Ghost Stories, My Ghost Story, Ghost Adventures, etc. She thinks it smacks of a certain spiritual desperation, although when pressed, she admits it's probably more a kind of escapism from the Obama administration.

Could be she's right. She frequently is. But not always and completely. I admit to not wanting to watch the news much these days, but I also believe in ghosts. Like all people who believe in ghosts, I do so because I had an experience once. I wasn't sleeping, drunk, or delusional. The hairs stood up on the back of my neck. I know what I experienced. So I'm open to other people's experiences. And I know a ghost when I see one.

Saw one at Cowtown Rodeo the other night. Granted, the hairs didn't stand up on the back of my neck, but a ghost is something dead and gone that shouldn't be there yet is. Exactly like the Dodge Challenger I saw parked outside the Cowtown grandstand. Actually, it's one of three I've seen in the past few weeks. There's the Challenger, the Camaro, and the Steve McQueen Mustang.

They're all three dead as a doornail, But someone's making them again. Car companies that are also dead as a doornail. Which got me to thinking.

All this talk these days about bringing America into line with the European democracies, which are supposedly less obsessed with money than American-style capitalism. Is money -- and ostentatiously conspicuous consumption -- really an American fault that can be done away with by an administration that wants to redistribute the wealth more equitably?

Forget whether or not that's even a good idea. Think instead about whether or not that's what our history shows us to be. That's where the ghosts come in.

And, you know, when it comes to cars at least -- and how can you get more intimate with the American soul than with cars -- it's just not true. That's what I flashed on when I saw the Dodge Challenger at Cowtown. I wanted to go look at it with my son-in-law, who's ridden with me on motorcycles over the years and is something of a motorhead himself, not being all that much younger than I am, but he never even gave it a look. Why? This Challenger isn't the original Challenger. Yeah, it looks like a Challenger, only maybe better, and its performance specs couldn't be more impressive. I'm pretty sure a 5.7 liter hemi is an option. But as I think of it, nobody else was checking it out either.

Which is when the flash hit me. America isn't Europe and never will be. The Challenger on display at Cowtown was an expensive car. Very expensive. That's not the American Way. The American Way has always been about affordable, even for family men with kids and wives and things. Why the Europeans in charge of taste and such have always looked down on us. They had Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bugattis, Aston Martins, and specially tricked out BMWs and Mercedes Benzes. We had Corvettes, Trans Ams, Hemi Roadrunners, and Pontiac GTOs.

Did somebody say 'GTO'? Here's a moment in time worth savoring. I remember it as if it were yesterday.

Where were you in 1964?...  De­troit got off the dime. Muscle cars were born. Pontiac discovered the Hurst shifter. America produced its best-ever race driv­ers and a few awesome race machines. Car and Driver invented the comparison test.

So return with us now to those glorious days of yesteryear when our forebears pit­ted a Pontiac against a Ferrari and declared the Pontiac the winner.

Car and Driver's March 1964 cover de­picted a hypothetical racetrack upset: a red Ferrari coupe led a green Pontiac by one car length through a downhill, right-hand kink. The headline read, "Tempest GTO: 0-to-100 in 11.8 sec." Inside, the story was a bit different, but no less thrilling. The Ferrari was mentioned briefly but neither tested nor shown in a photograph. C/D staffers did drive a pair of Pontiac GTOs 3500 miles, including a New York-to­-Florida round trip. Acceleration runs were conducted at the Daytona speedway, where the pair of Pontiacs were also flogged around the steeply banked tri-oval and the infield road course. After the dust had set­tled, the C/D crew conceded that Ferrari's fastest street-legal coupe might be able to beat the Pontiac on a closed circuit, but the Detroit iron would certainly prevail in a drag race.

You see. That's America and American capitalism. We're really not about snobbery and aristocracy and imperialist fantasies of silver-spoon superiority. That's what Europeans are. They tax each other to death and talk about equality, but in the end the rich and high-born are always somehow exempt. The hometown of Ferrari and Italian communism are the same. That's a paradoxical peg we Americans don't need to be taken down from, Obamessiah or not. We've always been about the competitiveness and potential for triumph of the common man. In the old days, anyone could scrimp and save enough to buy a Corvette and beat the pants off a Ferrari at a red light. So, yeah, maybe there were a few rattles and the Yurropean critics could carp about cheesy upholstery and vulgar-looking instruments, but on any given day a factory worker from Georgia could clean the clock of a count in a Countach. Especially if he knew something about driving.

In short, we're not the ones who still need a lesson about equality, especially if the teacher is still supposed to be some European model of what is and isn't social justice.

Why didn't the Cowtown folks want to see the new Dodge Challenger? Because they've still got a working version of the old one, the real one, in the driveway back home. With a blueprinted 440, authentic dual exhausts grandfathered by the DMV, and a Hurst shifter that makes the new one's automatic look like a sissy bar.

A final question. If there's anyone out there who knows for a fact that President Obama can understand even one word of this post, here's $1,000. All you have to do is prove it. Just remember, the ghosts are idling in the background. And they can still run down a liar faster and more brutally than a piece of Italian tinfoil can.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Time Out

BETWEEN INNINGS. Many thanks to Eduardo and Lake, whose posts have enabled the regulars to back away and refill their tanks. There's a distinct sense of despair that descends when there's nothing left to say, matched only by the joy of the return of ideas after a pit stop.

Refuelling has occurred. More laps to come.

CP checks in.

TIME OUT. There will be more to say about the puppy. (We're raising an Ent, it appears.) But it's been a busy personal time, which is probably inconsistent with waiting for the equivalent of the Reichstag Fire. We went to a Phillies game in the USO section (after a USO tailgate party) and saw a Marine throw out the first pitch.

Then I and one of my wife's best friends suffered agonies for eight innings in the fear that a rookie pitcher was going to throw the season's third (er, fourth) perfect game againt the home team. But the home team won. Which made me question my faith because what I didn't reckon on was that our particular position in the stands would give us a view of the motheaten stacks of the S.S. United States, still docked in the City of Philadelphia (upper left in the photo above). That was on my birthday.

I should have had more faith in the way things go. But I lose faith from time to time, which is the most basic definition you can get of empty tanks.

This weekend, we went to Cowtown Rodeo, in our home county and the oldest continuous weekly rodeo in the country if not the most celebrated. Actually, that would be last night. The first time in three or four years, given my Proustian preference for not going anywhere ever anymore.

There's a difference between Phillies fans and Cowtown fans. Don't mistake me. "Citizen's Bank Park" is a beautiful facility and the best place I'ver seen to watch a Phillies game. And I was one of the faithful who sat in the baking heat watching the artificial turf and impossibly long fences of Veteran's stadium, which was a football venue more than a baseball park. I watched Mike Schmidt hit homeruns out of a football stadium. I also once saw Dick "Strangeglove" Stewart pole a game-winning grand slam from my cub scout cheap seat behind the pillars of Connie Mack Stadium, and so I think I'm entitled to pass judgment on the current state of the Phillies and their home park. I honor them all, but if you ask me, I don't want to hear the F-word four times a minute in my left ear at any event I'd take my two-year old granddaughter to.

Didn't have that problem at Cowtown. All those cowboy hats, boots, Harley shirts, beer coolers, girls in short shorts and too much makeup, rural husbands of the sort that always show up in the mug shot arrays of child molester suspects on the ID Channel, and, yes, overflowing country wives spilling out of their tops so bountifully that one could be excused for thinking ordinary men are actually used to seeing large amounts of boobage without becoming frenzied, and I never heard a bad word. To the contrary. With few exceptions -- including the dad who truculently crossed his arms while his son, standing right next to me, placed his palm over his heart -- people of every stripe put hand to heart while they played the National Anthem.

I wouldn't mention this as a rule. Everyone knows I'm a hick. But Mrs. CP isn't. This time, she had guests from one of the most sophisticated high-tech organizations in the world. They were charmed.  They brought their tenth grade daughter and two of her friends, who suddenly left our seats to get funnelcake during the show. The parents weren't worried because they have that parents' sense of which places are safe and which aren't. I was worried, because I lack those. But when I tried to find the girls, I did. Standing happily in a long long l-o-o-o-o-ng line of other young people waiting for funnel cakes. By the time the rodeo was over, they were back in their seats, and their observation to their upper middle class chaperones was, "Over so soon?"

They weren't bored. In the parking lot afterwards I realized I was the only one looking for the three tenth graders to rally around the adults. (If this makes me sound creepy, shame on you; they were my guests and ultimately I was responsible...) .In the event, they had already gone to the car and were waiting patiently there while we and the parents talked, mostly about how difficult it was to keep kids of their age in our lives without a prior appointment. Then Daddy checked in with his daughter's cell phone, establishing her exact whereabouts and readiness to go home. Which is when I realized the biggest thing of all about the rodeo. I hadn't heard a single cell phone go off the entire time.

Not one. That's when I had the moment of hope it takes for the gas tanks InstaPunk speaks of to fill.

I also saw something at Cowtown nobody I talked to mentioned. But I will. In the next post. Something grand and fine about America you won't find in all the lefty celebrations of European socialism. I guarantee you, you'll be shocked and surprised at the perspective I have to offer.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

An Eduardo Eruption

Look how freaking amazing this car is. Worth every penny.

THE BRAKES (PROBABLY) WORK, TOO. Do you ever get the feeling that we're living in a Dali-esque carnival? Well, I do. Doesn't matter where you turn. Everything is insane. So I'm losing it. Sorry. I'm losing it. Don't mind me. Go on about what you were already doing. And if you decide to read this anyway, don't look for any beginning. I'm just going to start in the middle, where we all are btw. The middle of WTF land.

Big news on Tuesday. The Chevy Volt is (almost) here. "What's that?" you ask? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Volt is the Savior of GM. It's the thing, the one vehicle, that will overcome all the management incompetence/impotence, UAW waste/corruption, and downright shitty, overpriced cars that should have caused GM to go out of business a long time ago. And you can own one. Not yet, but (relatively) soon. Just think: lowly little you can be a part of history for the low, low sticker price of $41,000.00 (before free tax incentive that may not actually be free). "Golly, Eduardo," you whine, "That seems sorta high for a shitty GM POS. Why should I buy one?" It's a fair question, but I have the answer.

The Volt is not a shitty, overpriced car. It is a shitty, overpriced electric car, which makes all the difference in the world; and for the world. Because it's (partially) electric. Some snippets from a slightly skeptical WaPo article (boldface & bracket comments mine):
The long-anticipated Chevrolet Volt, General Motors' electric car, will cost $41,000, the company announced Tuesday, leaving consumers to decide whether its environmental appeal is worth a price far above that of similarly sized conventional autos [What? Who has questioned this?! I want names!]...

...The price announcements for the Volt and its electric rival, the Nissan Leaf, have been highly anticipated as a result. Nissan, the only other major manufacturer expected to bring such a vehicle to market this year, said the Leaf will cost $32,780...

..."The Volt is a game-changing product," said Tony Posawatz, GM's vehicle line director for the Volt, which is expected to hit showrooms in November 2011...

...The Volt can travel 40 miles on its battery charge and an additional 340 miles on a gasoline-powered generator. The all-electric Leaf has a range of 100 miles.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama pledged to put 1 million plug-in vehicles on the road by 2015 [By hook or by crook!].

But some analysts said they doubt that electric cars can reach a broad audience in the near term [Again, who are these people? I want names, I said!]...

...The president has expressed optimism that automakers will be able to lower the price tag of electric-vehicle technology [Because optimism is ultimately what lowers consumer costs]. Earlier this month, he suggested that major reductions in battery costs...are on the horizon [Which was based on the president's extensive knowledge of the battery production industry, as well as business and economics in general. Did you know he went to Harvard Law?].

"Because of advances in the manufacturing, [battery] costs are expected to come down by nearly 70 percent in the next few years," Obama said at the site of a planned battery factory in Michigan [Seriously, he just makes this shit up as he goes along, right?]...

...Consumers must also get accustomed to plugging the cars in at home. It takes hours to recharge the vehicles, and in the absence of a network of public recharging stations [HINT, HINT, HINT, Mr. President!], drivers that run out of juice may need a tow truck [Don't oversell it, guys, just show me where to sign!]...

...GM plans to produce 10,000 Volts next year, and 30,000 in 2012, company officials have said. Nissan has indicated that it will sell about 25,000 Leafs in the United States next year.

I'm trying to picture what the GM board meeting for the Volt rollout looked like: "Okay, guys. Let's add another 2 grand to the MSRP and drop the operational range down to a full 60 miles less than Nissan's Leaf. And don't worry about consumer push-back. Just have Tony P. put on that shit-eating, Pollack grin of his and tell the press how the car is a game-changer or something. And about Nissan saying they'll sell 25,000 of their cars in 2010: drop our production plan down to 10,000 for the year and stress that we're only building them. People will get excited when we act all aloof like we don't care if we sell any, then once you have them in the showroom, hit them with another $10k. GM is back, people!"

This is one of those things that, no matter what angle I approach it from, makes absolutely no sense to me. Who the hell is going to buy this car? Even if $41k is pocket change for you, why would you buy this car? Who has been watching the progress of this car's production and thought everything looked simply smashing? I was going to add a little bit more commentary, maybe throw in something about how this goes to show that the government sucks at running just about anything, but who didn't see this coming a mile away? Instead, I'm going to bounce my sorry ass off another padded wall altogether -- by directing your attention to this article:
Pop singer Rihanna is to make her film debut in Peter Berg's upcoming Battleship film, based on the Hasbro board game...

...Set for release in summer 2012 and due to begin shooting in Hawaii this August, little is known about Battleship other than its central theme of an international fleet assembling to take on a supernatural force from the high seas.
Ah, yes. Well do I remember the countless family nights spent playing Battleship. They always started with the same old argument about who got to play the international fleet and who got to play the supernatural force from the high seas. A little slice of Americana. So excited to see this classic struggle brought to life in film.

Nothing about this makes sense, either. Who the hell is going to pay money to see this movie? Even if you had nothing but free time and extra money on your hands, why would you see this movie? And who sat there, had this idea pitched to them, and concluded, "Yes. This is a winning idea. Push all other projects to the back of the queue and get Rihanna's agent on the phone." But no. No. Instead of thinking about it, I'm just going to embrace the spirit of madness. I bring you now a list of the next top Hollywood blockbusters. You may notice that my movie posters are not what you'd call "high quality". That's because I figured I should use the same amount of effort that was used by the makers of the Chevy Volt and the Battleship movie (starring Rihanna; tell your little friends!):

Meet Ron Smith (Ben Stiller), an awkward guy who has never had much success with the ladies and has almost given up on romance. Now meet Lisa Trivial (Jennifer Anniston), a free spirit whose chance encounter with Ron inspires him to believe that maybe, just maybe, he's got one more shot at true love. To win the girl, though, he'll have to answer a series of questions in different categories that will eventually win him different colored, magical triangles, which Lisa loves to collect, and hilarity  hilariously ensues (which is a synonym of 'pursues' if you're keeping track). This pursuit will be anything but trivial!

In Sorry!, Matt Damon is some sort of super-amazing secret agent who works for the U.S. government. He is also a pathetically blind patriotic dupe who is betrayed by his boss, Chris Cooper, when he questions Cooper's orders on a mission meant to frame muslims for a "terrorist" attack that will result in obscene oil company profits. Damon comes to discover that all the years he thought he was defending the United States, he was actually spreading death & poverty across the globe to enrich a cabal of rightwing capitalist puppet masters who have always controlled America's farce of a democracy. Until now!

Twister is really cool. It takes place in the future (Ha!). The new Tactical Warship Interdimensional Space-Travelling Emergency Responder (or T.W.I.S.T.E.R.) is on its maiden voyage. And it's out of control! The only way to stop it is to get to the engine room and do some sort of manual override that involves touching different colored control panels with randomly selected parts of your body without removing the other stuff you're already touching until told to do so. An operating method that Space Marshall Johnny Laser (Shia LaBeoufLorenzo Lamas (after the contract dispute)) must learn quickly when he is forced to take over for the entire team of space engine mechanics, who are all dead for some reason. And the fate of Planet Earth hangs in the balance. Just because.

Oh, whoops. Nevermind.

C4: A mysterious yellow & blue artifact with red & black discs is discovered by hot chicks in a sorority house. Once the hot chicks start moving the discs around, there is a monster or something that starts killing them one by one, but only when they are naked. David Caruso, in a groundbreaking role, is a no-nonsense cop sent to investigate the mounting deaths. He discovers he is last in the line of ancient defenders sworn to keep an evil spirit locked in the artifact that can only be released if someone moves the discs around and... Connects Four. *YEEEAAAAAAHHHHH!* [NOTE: Actually, I would see this one. Hollywood, please steal this idea first.]

Of course I know these ideas are more valuable than Goldline ("Gold has never been worth zero") but I won't ever make any money from them, because I'm not a gay, anti-semite child rapist. But that's OK. Anyone who brings these ideas to life won't be worried about making money either. And why should that matter in the first place? After all, the government always has more money if we need it.

Surely there are some ideas I missed. Let's discuss them. At the forum. Don't forget: it's free to join. If you haven't joined yet, you need to.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Liberal Apostates Are Still Liberals

A bad PhotoShop, to be sure. As fake as some liberal axioms.

STOP THE STONING. The Corner is pointing somewhat happily at a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Patrick Caddell and Doug Schoen. It's worth reading because they take Obama to task for being the petty divider he is. By all means read it and then wait for the public stoning they'll be subjected to by the administration. But narrow partisan that I am, I want to take issue with one lefty shibboleth they smuggled into their piece:

We have seen the divisive approach under Republican presidents as well—particularly the administrations of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now.

This is nonsense. In both cases actually, but more particularly in the case of George W. Bush. It's been forgotten over the years, but Nixon drew up an enemies list because he had enemies. He hated the press because the press hated him and ultimately they succeeded in bringing him down. As president, he was in fact a moderate, desperately anxious to please the voters with nary a nod to ideology. He imposed wage-and-price controls, for God's sake, in a speech that included the rueful comment, "I am now a Keynesian."

Nixon did other things that appalled conservatives. He recognized Red China and laughed it up with Mao, the greatest mass murderer of the twentieth century. He ended the Vietnam War, concluding what amounted to surrender in a war he did not start. (What's not to like about that, Democrats?) He also did a lot of noncontroversial things that were aimed far more at unifying than dividing the nation. He appeared on the most irreverent comedy show ever, Laugh-in, and he had his most personally popular moment ever when Sammy Davis, Jr., spontaneously hugged him at a concert in the White House. But it bought him nothing. The press had a grudge against him dating back to his days as a congressman on the House Un-American Activities Committee, and they succeeded in provoking the paranoia that led to his self-destruction. What's been lost in the history is that he won reelection by a staggeringly huge landslide. The American people had accepted him. It was the liberal establishment that didn't. Interestingly, given the mantra during the Clinton impeachment melodrama, no one at the time suggested that partisans were trying to "undo the election of a president by the American people." Not even Republicans.

I'm not carrying a brief for Richard Nixon. I didn't like him because he wasn't a conservative, because he pandered to the middle. But facts are facts and shouldn't be falsified for contemporary purposes. I talk about Nixon because the experience of George W. Bush is parallel in one highly significant respect. From Day One, the liberal establishment hated him and conspired to destroy him, politically and personally. But unlike Nixon, Bush never took the bait. His administration is remarkable, particularly in light of Obama's performance in the first third of his first term, for a long list of "Didn'ts." He didn't single out individual reporters, commentators, or networks for presidential rebukes. He didn't blame his predecessor for anything he inherited, including the Clinton administration's hands-off approach to al qaida. He didn't sneer at individual segments of the American public he thought were greedy, corrupt, or disrespectful to his awesomeness. He didn't haunt the popular media to play star or celebrity in a culture where that has become the currency of approval and acceptance. He didn't brand his critics as ideologues, bigots, or haters of any sort, though they clearly were. He didn't fire members of his administration because they got some bad press in the 24/7 news cycle. He diidn't use his bully pulpit to bash individual senators, congressmen, or the Supreme Court. He didn't abandon his campaign promise to be "a uniter rather than a divider"; he never spoke in any other terms than as president of the American people, all of them. His administration was divisive because his enemies had, if not the bigger megaphone, the one that was used to the maximum, unrelentingly, unscrupulously, and unbelievably viciously.

The truth is, Bush would have been more successful if he had done some of these things. But to call him "divisive" because so many people hated him so irrationally is typical liberal misdirection. Caddell and Schoen are still trying to save the Obama administration. However sneakily, this column is yet another "Blame Bush" variation. Obama hasn't yet fixed what George Bush wrought. Bullshit. Obama is divisive because he's a small-minded creep hunting down the tiniest of sleights in a media environment that loves the ground he walks on. Remember that.

Here's the real deal. Whether you're a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, President Obama wouldn't be in nearly as much trouble, regardless of his policies, if he were half the man George W. Bush was. And is. Note that Bush hasn't yet broken the obsolete presidential code of not publicly criticizing his successor. Divisive? Stick it up your ass, Caddell and Schoen. I'm not sure that we've ever had a more gracious president than George W. Bush.

Duelling Illusions

Vegas and Philly. Which city is nothing but a nightmare best forgotten?

TWO TOUGH TOWNS. I just talked with an old friend of mine from Philadelphia. He lives in Las Vegas now. I asked him if he misses the City of Brotherly Love. I should mention that we have a lot in common. Both our dads were WWII pilots, and both of them are now dead, along with our mothers. We're also both exiles, of which there are two kinds in America. There are those who leave their homeland never to return, and those who become part of the population of what I call corporate ronin, those who live where their companies insist they must. I was one of the latter, and Rob is defiantly one of the former. I, of course, have returned to the county of my birth and draw strength from that reestablishment of my damaged roots. Which is why I asked Rob if he ever misses Philadelphia.

"No," he said. "Not for a moment."

We talked. There are many reasons for his declaration. He once wrote a lovely and moving piece about Wanamaker's department store in Philadelphia at Christmastime. How I knew he was a writer. I said, "You don't miss even that." He said, "It's all gone, every bit of it."

It's true. Wanamaker's is gone. So is the Philadelphia of Rob's youth. "I used to be able to get on a train, trolley, or streetcar and go anywhere in the city. Would I let my daughter do that today? No way."

He has no more family in Philadelphia. All gone. But I'm thinking cheesesteaks, Tastycakes, Phillies, South Street, and Fairmount Park. "No. Nothing."

And I'm also thinking phony pyramids, ersatz Eiffel Tower, all the glitz and kitschy madness of Las Vegas. How can this be home?

You see, contrary to Thomas Wolfe's silly nostrum, I did go home again. I left the corporate rat-race to return to south Jersey, where I was born and grew up. The smell of salt marsh, the taste of sweet corn, the winding roads all called me back and I am at home again, under skies without streetlights and with stars that make me think of God.

Whereas my friend Rob is apparently content to live in Hell. In a trumped up cityscape of fake landmarks from across the world and the ages. A city full of cheap copies of accomplishments no one could credit as anything but bad 3-D Xeroxes of history.

Except. Except. Rob has a couple of things to say about that. He doesn't even see the buildings of Las Vegas. They're no more real to him than the climbing spires of Philadelphia now that it's no longer forbidden to build higher than Billy Penn's hat on City Hall. To Rob, buildings are just ephemera. What matters are the people and the opportunity. He's Jewish. And he's found a community in Las Vegas that represents the age-old Jewish response to antipathy: we're here for each other, and it really doesn't matter where we are. But it's more than that for Rob. He also sees the desert underneath Las Vegas. He's discovered that he's not so different from me. His real home is the kind of land he came from. My soul lives in the wetlands; his lives in the dusty heat.

Which makes the cities themselves irrelevant. Props. Phantasmagoria. The real story is, as always, human. Depending on who you are, Philadelphia is a good dream or a bad dream. Las Vegas the same. Do you get it yet? Rob thinks Las Vegas is Ayn Rand's paradise. Capitalism incarnate. He just isn't sure she'd make it there.

"If you don't have a sense of humor and if you can't adapt to people who disagree with you, that would be your finish. In Vegas."

So says Rob, a capitalist somehow still surviving in Las Vegas.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Eduardo Does Marketing.

The place where InstaPunk readers meet. Yeah, it's like that.

THE FORUM. Well okay, it's not quite like that* yet, but it never will be unless you get over to the new InstaPunk forum. Fellow commenter Null pointed out that we've done a poor job advertising the new forum's existence. So here are road signs & the neon lights and stuff.  Right here. And here is the link to the forum, which is where you should go right now.

It's free to join. Yes, that means that when you register you have to deal with an annoying pop up once that wants your email address. But if you're not savvy enough to navigate through that then you're probably not reading this post, either, because it's likely that you've never heard of the internet. Apotheosis just gave it my email address instead of his, which is cool because I can never get enough Canadian Viagra, stock tips and $3 Rolexes.

Everyone's welcome, even people who majored in two useless things and don't know anything except how smart they are. Not that I can think of any examples of that off the top of my head. Just saying.

We're talking about lots of things. We're collaborating on putting together InstaPunk books. We're talking about Lost (even though everyone knows the proper subject is the superior superiority of Babylon 5). We're saying all sorts of awful, incendiary things we're not supposed to say about a certain religion of peace whose Prophet (PBUH) we're not allowed to call by name or draw pictures of because we might get beheaded or stabbed in the street. We're (sort of) telling InstaPunk what we want him to write about. We're ruminating about what's going to happen between November and 2012. And I'm trying to figure out if Eli was actually supposed to be blind, which I can't bring myself to believe, because that would be just plain silly, but nobody has given me any answers yet.

Which is where you come in. So why aren't you there yet? It'll be lots of fun until the Internet Neutrality Act or some other Obama hope'n'change reform shuts us down. Come join the discussion, start a new thread, or just be a silent lurker** and take notes for your upcoming grad school class on the Dangers of Unregulated Rightwing Internet Access. Hurry up and join. Here.

*I wanted to put a really cool picture like this up top (I don't even know what it is, but isn't it cool?). However, I know how the old man hates sci-fi, so I went a more hellishly traditional route instead.

**Just kidding. Don't be a lurker. Lurkers are pussies.

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