The Monday Morning Black Cloud 01.19.04

Every Sunday night I check out the main stories, and every Sunday night there’s another report of a horrible attack in Iraq leaving a number of American soldiers dead. Maybe the best way to support out troops would be to get them the hell out of there.

Welcome to your Monday morning black cloud. I spent all weekend working on a screenplay, but on the plus side I haven’t written a report at 3 AM in a while so who knows how it’ll turn out? Also on the plus side we’ve got Gloomchen talking about politics, Randle talking about Canadian crap and my good friend Carlos on football. It is their excellent and diligent reporting that allows me to be so, so lazy. Bless the lot of you.

I have a couple of quick announcements before we see what’s topping the news. First of all, Ron Gamble recently left 411mania.com. He’s probably the classiest guy that I’ve met while writing for this site. He had a great sense of humor, a good heart and was shared his life, good and bad, with his readers. I’m going to miss him.

Also, I noticed that the Saturday Beer Buzz by Seth Monroe was not up on Saturday. I can’t help but think that Seth Monroe is dead. He was in his 30’s or just turned 30 and was a real piece of human garbage. He drank beer and wrote like a 12 year old. He will not be missed by anyone.

In Memoriam of that jerkoff, here is a brief psychological profile done by Gloomchen after reading a few pieces of Monroe’s work.

gloomchen: I’ve got a total psychological profile on this guy already, just from his writing and actions. When he was younger, maybe he had an older sibling or someone else close to him who was really intelligent and would make fun of him for being stupid. He was probably just a kid, not stupid, just not older and educated like this other person. So he finds politics. To gain attention from the “smart” folk, he takes an extreme and loud stance. When this fails to shock and draw enough attention, he turns the talons wherever else. Whenever anyone turns around to point out his shortcomings, he does what the older kids did to him when he was younger and tries desperately to hide any semblance of being less intelligent. He’s the kind of person you can never constructively criticize, because if you tell him that his grammar is shit, he’ll turn around and tell you that you’re shit, your mom is shit, and the pie you baked was shit. He lashes out for fear of being seen as inferior. And that is all I gather since I never went farther than Intro to Psychology in fake college.

She posted this at her web diary. It’s your #1 reference for your up to date Gloomchen news bites.

And now, the news.

Down To The Wire In Iowa.

“TOO CLOSE TO CALL!” That will be the headline today on all of the Iowan papers. The Oskaloosa Herald! The Ottumwa Courier! The Sioux City Journal! The Des Moines Register! The Council Bluffs Nonpareil! What the hell is a nonpareil? The Fairfield Reading Thing! The Tuskaloogie Ashtown Forum of Despair. I dunno. They have a lot of crappy papers.

Anyway, the Iowa Caucus is too close to call on Sunday night with different polls predicting different winners. The big two appear to be Gephardt and Dean, but John Edwards and John Kerry are right on their heels. Wesley Clark and Joe Lieberman are not factors, but that could be because they said, “FUCK IOWA” and went to campaign in New Hampshire. In fact, and while I could be mistaken, that is a direct quote from Joe Lieberman.

So Dean is slipping, Kerry is mortgaging his house, Sharpton is once again vanishing, Gephardt is coming out of nowhere and Wesley Clark is nowhere to be found. With all of this going down, look for John Edwards and his dreamy good looks and compassionate smiles to come in either second or third place. Then look for him to win the whole damn thing. Don’t believe me? Oh, you just watch America. You just watch me be so very, very wrong.

Many are a bit confused as to how winning in Iowa is so important for the Democratic candidate. Let me clue you jerks in on a few reasons that the Democrat who is going to be President needs to win in Iowa.

1. In 2000 Gore/Lieberman won the state of Iowa by an incredible 4,144 votes. The only states with closer margins were New Mexico and everyone’s favorite place in the world, Florida. If a Democrat hopes to have any chance of beating Bush in those swing states, the candidate they elect in their primaries will have to be the candidate going on to the Presidential election. If they don’t get who they select, they will go with Bush because he’s familiar. Bush’s popularity rating just dipped to 50%. The electorate is split again. Get ready for another wild election in December.

2. Let’s look at the primaries as a football game, and let’s think of Iowa as the opening drive. As the Jets proved this year, strong opening drives do not always result in victories, but as the Patriots have been proving as of late, sometimes they do. You get instant credibility and win over undecided voters in other states who want to back a winner in December.

3. What’s Iowa’s chief export? Gloomchen. He who controls the Gloomchen controls the world.

4. Iowa has 45 delegates. Sure, that might seem like a small number of delegates, but screw you! The Democrats will need them in December!

Oh, and I know that the election is held in November. December is when the Supreme Court will be ruling on ending the recounts.

Star Wars 2

Hey, remember the 80’s? Rubix Cubes, leg warmers, and Ronald Reagan’s failed plan to defend America with a bunch of light sabers in space? Well everything old is new again as the 80’s are back in a big way!

According to Reuters, in 1996 the Clinton administration passed a space policy that states that the United States is committed to the exploration of space “by all nations for peaceful purposes for the benefit of all humanity.” Awww! That’s nice. So now we’re going to develop weapons to blow up those other exploring countries in space.

So what fuels this new need to develop intergalactic space shooty thingys? What a great question! And you worded it so perfectly.

John Pike of GlobalSecurity.org wasted his lunch break on telling reporters that the United States wanted to beat the Chinese to the moon, and that the moon contains a nearly perfect fuel source: the helium 3-isotope. So THAT’S what the moon is there for! I thought it was there to influence grown men to turn into werewolves, but nope! It’s a fuel source! And we have to beat the Chinese to it!

I’m not spreading liberal propaganda, I’m just reporting what I read. The Chinese are on their way to the moon. Bush wants to set up a permanent station on the moon. The moon is made of fuel. We are building weapons for operation in space.

I beg you to tell me this is a coincidence. I double dog dare you. Bush doesn’t want to go to the moon for exploration and human achievement. He wants that sweet, yummy moon oil.

And now here’s my favorite writer on the Internet, Gloomchen, with

Nihilism and Cupcakes

I received an instant message this past week from a friend of mine. It said:

“Looks like Dean is going against Bush.”

My reply was, huh?

This is nearly ironic, folks, as I used to be very much into politics in my college days. I followed most goings-on and had at the very least a basic idea of everything the candidates debated. I knew about issues, family backgrounds, past fiascos and other whirlwinds of fury. I knew these things because I was a fervent Libertarian. This isn’t to say I’m no longer a fervent Libertarian, but back then, I liked to argue about it.

Nowadays, I really, really don’t care.

I was very liberal/Democrat minded in my youth, primarily because I grew up poor. However, we weren’t poor and on welfare for long — my mother went back to college and got a job, raising us three kids by herself by working her ass off. Although it enabled us to live and not be homeless or starve, I grew to despise welfare because of its social connotations due to those who abuse it. I didn’t enjoy the dirty looks that we got at West Locust Mart when my mom gave us our reward of one food stamp to go buy candy.

For people like us, welfare was the greatest government program that could have ever existed. We worked to get OFF the system. People like us comprise, what, maybe .5% of all welfare recipients? But that didn’t make society look upon us any differently. We were an aberration of the norm. Needless to say, I started to absolutely HATE the norm.

So it was my days after growing older that led me to change my beliefs. I stumbled upon libertarianism quite randomly as it offered what was, to me, an ideal: we don’t need no stinking government to protect us from ourselves. Why create bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake? If someone is polluting your water, sue them. If Tiffany next door wants to stand on the corner of 3rd and Main trying to earn some cash with that pierced tongue of hers, what business is that of the government? Oh, sure, there are arguments that easily rebut these things. That’s not the point of this discussion, however.

In other words, I decided that I wanted for my country what I wanted for myself and my life: complete freedom to do the things that I wanted, so long as they did not hurt anyone else. In the end, it’s just the Golden Rule on a nationwide scale. You earn your keep and you get what you give. And I couldn’t stop myself from trying to spread the word of its greatness to others.

Things change, however. The world keeps revolving, and my cynical nature realizes quickly that all of my preaching is for naught. Clinton entertained me well for eight years and I was perfectly happy with the status quo. Then came the election from hell where I don’t think I could’ve chosen two worse candidates for President if I’d gone fishing for willing folks in Afghanistan. Gore might have killed me with boredom and self-righteousness (and I might have hired someone to kill his PMRC wife from hell), but I don’t think he could possibly have done worse than Li’l Bush. To say that the last four years have drained all hope that I live in a decent country filled with intelligent citizens headed up by a respectable government is a dramatic understatement.

I’ll go to the pollbooths and I’ll vote Libertarian for life. If I’m the only person voting Lib until the day I die, that’s fine with me. If I never make one iota of difference in the world, at least I can say that I stuck with my beliefs. I’m not throwing my vote to the Democrats just to get Bush out of office. I’m not going to support Bush just to keep the next moronic Democrat out, either. I’ll let the rest of the morons in this country decide who is the lesser of two evils. Someday I’ll wake up from this nightmare and those of us with two brain cells to rub together will have torn down all of this bullshit and made a decent government that lets people profit on their strengths and abilities and be recognized as such. Until then, I don’t give a shit who y’all elect.

So, until the Presidential election finally arrives, obey my bumper sticker:

“MORE ORGASMS LESS KIDS”

Wait, not that one. Good advice, but not on topic. The one above that:

“WORK HARDER, MILLIONS ON WELFARE DEPEND ON YOU.”

The third option on the ballot: just stop caring about the rest of the world and do what’s best for yourself. Indeed. Ain’t no welfare moms gettin’ any cash dollaz for THAT.

Gloomchen

This is Grutman. I just want to make it clear that I and 411 do not condone Gloomchen’s bumper sticker. Widro has had several children while never having a single orgasm. Speaking of human waste, prepare to be double teamed by the cloud’s sport’s reporters! First up is my own little me, Stephen Randle with

The Short Sports Report

Welcome one and all, I am the oft-abused but always cheerful Stephen Randle, and with Carlos around, I no longer even have to pretend to understand the NFL. However, Grut had a magical, wonderful idea: I should recap the CFL. Of course, the season ended in November, but a good idea is a good idea, so here we go.

– Yeah, right. The CFL offseason is duller than watching men’s tennis on tape delay, even with all those owners trying to find stadiums and bankrupt teams trying to find owners. I just wanted to scare the crap out of you by thinking I might do it.

– By the tennis crack, I mean that tennis is boring enough already, but watching it when you already know the results is just sad.

– And just to prove I can talk about football (and that I wrote this before the games finished on Sunday), I like Peyton and the Colts, but there’s no way they’ll beat New England on their home turf. And I’m going to take Carolina for the upset, because everyone has to choose an upset for some reason. Also, Philly is a lot more banged up than it seems. Then for the Super Bowl, I take the Patriots. And I also suggest you stop by Gryph’s Sports Lounge, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, for the best Super Bowl party out there. Advance tickets are on sale, and we fill up fast.

– Of course it’s a shameless plug. Haven’t you learned by now I have very little shame?

– If you want me to care more about the NFL, pray Toronto gets a franchise. Of course, their CFL franchise went bankrupt last season, but that’s neither here nor there. Ahem.

– That’s enough football, let’s move on to real sports. Let’s see something about Michelle Wie playing men’s golf. Good for her. When I was fourteen, I just enjoyed my childhood, but pressure-packed professional sporting events are good too.

– Anything else? Let’s see skiing curling cars going left for three hours nope, nothing worth mentioning. On to hockey.

– Some anonymous team has approached Winnipeg about relocating their franchise, likely following the expected lockout next season. Speculation has run rampant as to which southern US team with little fan support this is, with Carolina and Nashville the frontrunners. Gee, who would have thought that expansion hockey teams (which are, usually for a few years, of poor quality, Minnesota being the exception) wouldn’t catch on in areas where the only ice is the cubes in their drinks?

– Think I exaggerate? Want season tickets to Carolina or Florida? Is twelfth row okay? Want season tickets to the Leafs or Canadiens? Better hope that your grandparents die and leave you their spot on the waiting list then. Think Green Bay Packer season tickets, only harder to get.

– And Roger Clemens has returned to baseball, signing with the Astros for a year, so he can play close to home and be on a team with one of his best friends. Maybe it’s the wrestling fan who’s seen this many times before, but why are you surprised at this? Retirement means nothing any more. Hasek returned a year later because he was bored. Jordan came back to boost ticket sales for his team. Every winter, Gretzky works out with the team that he helps run, and rumours start up for about a week about how he’s going to play again. And I’m supposed to be mad because Roger Clemens decided that hell, he’s still a dominant player, and maybe he’d like to play somewhere that he can see his kids during the summer without paying to fly them halfway across the continent. If I were going to be mad at something involving Clemens, it would be sportscasters and their erasing of his three seasons in Toronto during the Boston-New York series, just to make it seem more “special”. Hell, he even won 2 Cy Young Awards here, believe it or not.

That’s it for me, now, if Grut follows his usual slavish devotion to routine, keep reading to see what Carlos thinks about the NFL playoffs.

Ay Me Gusta Futból by Carlos Mahau

Well, the playoffs have come and gone and we only have one more game left in the seasons. The Colts will face the Eagles on what? Oh yeah, Pats and Panthers. So I missed a couple of predictions this week. I can’t argue with what I saw this week. Four teams faced each other, and defense prevailed. The game between Indianapolis and New England was sad for me to watch as a Colts fan. Peyton Manning said hello to happy feet and proceeded to throw four interceptions. There is nothing like watching a good team play like crap. The first half was terrible on both sides of the ball for the Colts. The two fourth down conversions were pathetic, and Peyton lost all composure. Call it weather call it defense, the Colts played about as well as they did against the Broncos in their regular season encounter. The second half looked promising but a team as good as this was not going to let go of a fifteen point lead. New England deserves a lot of praise for what they did. Tom Brady was almost mistake free one more time, and the Pat’s d-backs forgave nothing. Stifling defense? Check. Freezing weather in New England? Check. Over one hundred yards rushing? Check. Superbowl? Check.

Our other game took place in Philadelphia and was between Donovan McNabb and a football team. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t watch most of this game as I was still getting over my depression from the day’s first game. What I did see was one team getting beat up by another. The Eagles seemed afraid of losing and the Panthers looked ready to whoop on somebody. Carolina forgave nothing, and gave nothing. Great coaching, great defense, and a team playing like they care about each other. Perfect recipe for a Cinderella story. The ball will take place the first of February in Houston Texas. And God will it be boring.

The Cloud Lifts

Well that was easier than I thought. And I can still sleep for two hours! On behalf of Gloomchen, Stephen Randle, and my friend from south of the border Carlos Mahuad, this is Joshua Grutman wishing you a good week.

P.S. Yay Patriots!