The Wall

As much as I like to play a disinterested fool on the Internet, I’m pretty dang sensitive and probably more than most. I’m a highly idealistic person (not like in an elitist way but in a “everyone’s humanity should be respected” way), and it’s hard for me not to get my heart broken just about every day. I become enraged when I hear about the many innocent people discriminated against, bullied, hurt, and murdered every day in this country because of the color of their skin, their sex/gender identity, or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We claim we’re better than that, but we’re not. I won’t list all of them off to you, but the past 18-24 months have been grueling in terms of tragedy in America.

I’ve got outrage/compassion fatigue. I know I’m not the only one. I’m not special.

I’ve been avoiding articles like this one all week because I can’t take anymore. I’m constantly faced with articles and videos in my various feeds on everything from bombings, shootings, murders, rape, various injustices, and the like. I wish I could set a filter in my Tweetdeck for “depressing” to be rid of it for a while, but no one tags their shit as #depressing. [Note to news agencies: Please start doing this.]

I grew up in a tough neighborhood, and for a long time I thought that gave me a special perspective on how to emotionally deal with injustice. It happened around me all the time. Family members were taken from us too soon. Mom constantly was trying to make ends meet while working 2-3 jobs. The legacy of a bloody civil war still looms over the heads of family members. Yet, I don’t think any of that has prepared me for this age of constant sorrow and hate. At least in my youth I still felt joy regularly. At least in adolescence I could still blame the problems of the world on adults. Now, I’m the problem, and I try to do as much good as I can through my work, but how can I make transformative change as one person?

We as a nation, or I guess an Internet community, rarely have moments of great joy or things to celebrate. When we do, there’s always this sinking feeling like it’s an anomaly. This won’t last, and the world will go back to being a sad place full of sad people doing hateful things to us. Someone will find a way to ruin this for us. 1,000 people will make snide, racist remarks about a beautiful brown woman that won Miss America, and they’ll get all the attention instead of focusing on a gorgeous, brilliant person that worked her ass off to achieve her dream.

This is us right now, and I when I think of my youthful desire to grow up and become a part of American society, I grow angry with myself. I am a fool for wanting this, and unfortunately, I’m not that disinterested.

-dago

RIP Jonathan Terrell Image

European Football, Colonization, and FUN WITH MAPS!

I’ve been so swamped at work, and I’ve found little time to just write for myself, Own Goal, or work on The LOL is Round. I wrote this on a break at work. It took 5 minutes or so [humblebrag]. As soon as this conference is planned and done with, I’ll be ready to take on this upcoming season with lots of poorly thought out pieces and crudely drawn references to things no one gives a shit about, as such:

The critique of the systematic pillaging of the non-European world at the hands of European powers isn’t something new. Since the revolution of revisionist history in the United States and Europe in the 1950s and 1960s and the study of post-colonial ERRYTHANG, English-language literature on the events between 1492 and now has gotten quite expansive. Eduardo Galeano, if you’re looking for a good book on the subject, wrote The Open Veins of Latin America in 1971. It’s wholly depressing, but is a great resource for building one’s understanding of the work that goes into creating a European empire at the expense of countless lives. From the late-15th century until about last week, European powers, at will, through war, disease, papal decree, whatever, carved up the natural and human resources of the non-European world. Europeans got pretty efficient at creating networks of colonial and imperial outposts that served crowns and governments over centuries. America even got in on the action after the War of 1812 and that lil’ Monroe Doctrine-y thing.

This summer marks another off season where European football clubs take their show on the road and hit Africa, Asia, and North America with a typhoon of lazy step overs and out-of-shape footballers. Disturbingly, the way the European and American media speaks about these tours, they seem more like crusades of conquest than anything else — a flexing of European exceptionalism. Most importantly, it’s all part of a new systematic, calculated ‘materialistic’ sacking of new world markets that can provide a place for the selling of English and Spanish goods. Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, United, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Juve, PSG these are the new global conquistadors of corporate entertainment. United and Arsenal (BTW Arsene Wenger doesn’t like this who touring thing) have their eyes set on Africa, Asia, and the Middle East (so do Real Madrid). Chelsea spends its time and money to make money in the United States and in the process cornering already sports-heavy markets with their royal blue and white, rouble-fueled charm, but everyone wants a piece of that sweet American pie.

Like European conquerors before, clubs in Europe swear that they are spreading the noble truth that is European football that these unwashed, unclothed, and backward peoples really need. It is their duty as emissaries of European football culture. This truth will cleanse the souls of these beasts and also create a uniformity that will make the European products easier to sell and pawn off to people thousands of miles from SW6 or the Champs-Élysées. These noble savages will inevitably throw away their local culture and traditions after having seen the true light that is global marketing strategies.

The winners are no longer decided in a league or cup formet; it is won in the storefronts and online shopping carts outside of Europe. South America, Africa, North America, and Asia, are the new battlegrounds for European competition. And, like the colonization of Africa in the 19th century at the hands of the English, Dutch, Belgians, Germans, Portuguese, Spanish, and Italians, these are both public and private enterprises that benefit the European public and private sectors. 

To be honest, the football is better in Europe. They do have the best players and the best coaches. Everyone on the wrong side of the imaginary line that divides Europe from the rest of us should be proud that their exported products — players like Messi, Suarez, Toure, Drogba, Dempsey, etc. — are repackaged and sold directly to those who helped create these and many other greats of the eternal game.

Shades of the Columbian Exchange. 

Unfortunately, here, there will be no Boer War. Even worse, there will be no Boxer Rebellion or Opium War. This time the conquered are happy to have their new masters. They are welcomed with open arms. I am, at times, that person.

Personally, it’s hard to come to terms with the way clubs, the European media, and even the American media approach these pre-season friendlies. At times I just want to say screw it and not watch a minute and burn all my Chelsea shirts. My rage against the machine usually stops because I realize how much I paid for those shirts. I also really love European football. It’s entertaining.

The same stupid smile I wear on my face when sipping a Coke or buying frivolous piece of technology I felt that I absolutely needed is probably the same smile I exhibit when the European season kicks off. It’s the same smile I have when I get to see my favorite players play against the Sounders or PSG. The smile is a sign of the state of blissful ignorance I have entered when Chelsea Blue is on the screen. I’m conflicted because I feel like I owe my local football culture more, but who isn’t? I try hard to like the MLS and my local team, but my inclination is still there to sing “Blue is the Colour” and bang on about how John Terry couldn’t possibly be racist. 

Screw it.

The MLS All-Stars v. Chelsea Football Club will be aired tomorrow, Wednesday, July 23 on NBC at 7:30PM CST. 

Ying-Yang and Jackie Chan-g

What's more harmless than Will Smith? Will Smith's kid. I'm pumped.

Working at Barnes & Noble offers me the opportunity to discuss films with a lot of different people.  I get folks from all sorts of different backgrounds and in different stages of their lives.  Unfortunately, they’re mostly white, but whatever.  Anyway, I try to make it obvious to people that I suck at movies. OKAY, maybe I don’t suck, but I’m definitely not an expert.  My all-time faves are pretty obvious.  It all starts with the Star Wars flicks, a bunch of war movies and some kid shit.  Really simple stuff.

Regardless, the most annoying statement anyone can ever say to me is, “They just don’t make movies like they used to. They were so good back in [insert stupid decade here].”  Really? FALSE. That is false!  The production of terrible films isn’t a new phenomenon.  Although the availability of shitty films has grown, I don’t believe their production has increased.

Money-Grab Argument

I don’t understand how people can believe that one night the vicious and traitorous values of capitalism crept into the bed of the virginal/pure movie “industry” and defiled it with its aesthetics of profit and power.  HOW DARE YOU, CAPITALISM!  HAVE YOU NO SHAME?!  According to this sentiment, filmmakers don’t care about how good their films are.  They just care about profit.  What? Fuh reel? Is that what companies are supposed to do? WORD?

People are too easily convince that the idea of crafting films for mass consumption and profit is a new idea.  What ever you might want to tell yourself, Gone With the Wind was as much about the art as the profit.  So was Meet Me In St. Louis, Holiday Inn, any movie starring Elvis Preseley and Anchorman. Even the first films to ever be shot were for material gain.  “Hey, y’all, it’s Thomas Edison. I just invented da camera. Fuckin’ cool, right? I know. I can has money now? Also, Tesla is the devil. Watch me kill this elephant! BUY MY SHIT!”

People should understand that good things and shit will forever exist simultaneously.  Shitty movies remind us of why we love the things that we do love.  I encounter too many jaded older folks.  Just because you live outside of a targeted demographic doesn’t mean it sucks.  It means you’re fucking old, and you can just move on. Go watch Grease or something.

Originality Argument

OK, I get it. We’re making films about video games and comic books a lot lately.  There are a lot of remakes out there.  But, I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention for the past 600 years or so, but nothing can really be original anymore.  Can it?  Every once in a while you get an great idea, that gets executed well and gets to enough people to make a great impact.  But even then, a lot of stories are built on a framework influenced by our cultural manuals of how we deal with tragedy/hardship.  Conflict exists at all times and purveys our storytelling from the beginning of humanity.  Resolution can be turned on its head.  How many times can that happen before we see it coming?

How can Film escape this cycle when we can’t even do it ourselves?

I don’t know what to call this point… but,

I watched Jurassic Park for the first time when I was 6.  I cried my eyes out.  I remember the exhilaration.  I watched Independence Day when I was 10.  Movie fucking ruled.  I watched 101 Dalmatians when I was around 5.  I’m sure that the people that took me to se these movies–parents, teachers, all adults– didn’t really care for them.  They might have thought they were alright, but they wouldn’t put them in their Top Ten films of all-time.

But there was something there for ME.  It was the wonder.  It was new.  It was changing me inside.  I became fascinated with dinosaurs.  I fell in love with cute puppies.  I learned to get out of Houston as soon as possible because in the event of an alien invasion they’re going to nuke us first.  I was learning.  I was forming.  I don’t believe this childhood phenomenon is restricted to just us, individually.

America, during the Golden Age of Film, was going through its own growing pains.  Even though the country was about 150 years old already, it was finally getting its big boy britches.  Early Film formed the United States’ psyche.  It instilled common values across communities and regions–Not giving a damn; tap dancing rules.  Because these movies and their era helped assemble so much of what it means to be a Modern American, they’re treated as untouchable.  As a result of magnificence needing crap to compare itself to, people go about the black-and-white comparisons of then and now.

This is nothing. That was everything.  I understand that many of my peers probably don’t feel this way, but I run into this sentiment all too often.

The practice of lauding the past has blinded us to the reality of that time and our present.  There will always be the terrible and the magnificent.  It will always be a huge gamble when you consume media.  Maybe people should be mad at themselves for buying into something stupid.  We should know better.

Just stop being mad that you bought the movie 2012, k?

-dago

PS: Anyone else wanna go see Hot Tub Time Machine?

Here-Everything’s-Better

2400 S. Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78704

There are few places that draw so much simultaneous love and hate in South Austin than the H-E-B on Oltorf and S. Congress.  The place is fantastic! It’s a colorful place where homeless people, hipsters, blipsters, the upper-middle class yearning to be poor and normies can consume the vast selection that our American way of life affords us.  From the shaky man in the parking lot asking for change to the over-make-up’d cosmetics department lady, this H-E-B is a big part of my life.  From week-to-week, I joyfully make the half-mile drive to it like [insert movie reference here].  I get in and get out relatively quickly.  I spend anywhere from $30 to $45 and I’m set for the week.  (That’s what she said to the last two sentences. HEYO!)

However, the practice of dragging ass through the same H-E-B for the past five years, past the produce, past the butcher, past the hired Asian actors that pretend to cut sushi, past the out-of-place beer and wine aisle, gets boring.  Every time I go back, I am resolute in saying, “I will not COME BACK!”  But, like a fool, I do.  No matter how inconvenient that death-trap of a parking lot is.  No matter how many times I run over a runaway Mexican kid.  No matter how many times I realize that the cart bays are in the most inconvenient places.  I ALWAYS GO BACK.  It’s the familiarity.  I tried the Wal-Mart around here once, and I almost threw up.  It was too sterile.  I need danger.  H-E-B offers me that danger.

I know I can head to other places and get exactly what I need.  I know that they are cleaner, offer more amenities and probably offer a higher hawttie-to-dewd ratio than this H-E-B can.  It is overrun by families and old people.  But, where’s the fun in that?  Does Central Market have COLA CHAMPAN?! The greatest beverage known to man! NO! IT DOES NOT!

The whole purpose for this is post is to proclaim that I found the most perfect parking spot in their lot.  It was one of those spots that lies right in front of the exit and sits directly beside the handicapped spot.  I almost took a picture, but I’m sure I would have been hit by a car if I didn’t keep my head on a swivel.

This was the reason H-E-B gave me to come back today.  Next time, will I get that spot?!?!  This one beautiful experience outweighs the awful ones by a lot.

The leftover and marked down Valentine’s balloons were a sight.

The fact that I could buy Heineken and Muesli at the same store without really putting any thought into how stupid that combination sounds is GRAND!

Even though I almost killed a tyke in the parking lot, it was a great experience.  Great experiences keep you in situations that are all together not that great for you.  They also set you up for the next great let-down.

To being let down,

dago

Latino Heat Out. Who is your Favorite?

For Jim. USA. A-OK.

————————————

Hulk Hogan got punched in the face by Ric Flair [who I effing love! WHOO!] the other day at some fake-ass press conference.  I wasn’t really interested, and the fake blood didn’t do much except give me hope that Hogan’s face was actually marred.

Professional wrestling is falling off.  I’ve noticed there hasn’t been much buzz about the “sport”.  Unless you call Escape to Witch Mountain wrestling-related buzz.  Was “The Rock” really that important?  Did the name change to WWE kill the WWF?  I wasn’t a conoisseur, but I miss the WWF.

Weren’t people more comfortable knowing that most rednecks/teenagers would be indoors on Monday nights?  Football takes care of most mouth breathers itself, but wrestling was an added comfort blanket to do your grocery shopping on Monday nights or to take a nice walk without the fear of being harassed by people wearing cammo or those who still listen to ICP.

———–

When asked what professional wrestler you would be, who would you choose?

Most people will naturally assume that I’m going to pick Eddie Guerrero.  Not for racist reasons, people know I’m a sucker for mullets from south of the border.  But, Eddie Guerrero’s character was too “vato” for me sometimes.  I’m not a Chicano.  I can’t relate to someone who’s supposed to like Impalas and say “carnal” in a non-ironic way.  Also, Eddie got big outside of the optimum age in which someone falls in love with the WWF, 6 – 12.  Oddly enough, he got huge during the Era of Latin Fever circa 1999-2002. That era was great.  Latinos could do no wrong.  They pumped out dance hits and were free to cross the border.  Not anymore.  I miss you, Ricky.

I grew up watching Sting, Golddust (looks like Eminem on ecstasy), The Ultimate Warrior, etc.  I liked the Undertaker a lot. :D

In fact, I always identified with the unlikeliest guy, Hacksaw Jim Duggan.  He was the guy who finished people off with his 2 x 4.  He held the American flag HIGH AND PROUD! HE WAS THE FUCKING MAN!  You knew his “thumbs-up” and salute meant something.

Not only was he an agent in the ueber-American machismo which ruled entertainment in the 1980s and 1990s, he was everything Ronald Reagan and Herbert Hoover wanted wrapped in one neat bearded package.  He was the rugged individualist that could build a house in two days alone.  He loved his country, kicked ass, “hiyo”-ed like a hammerhead, hated immigrants and probably voted Republican.

I always saw Hacksaw as the manifestation of wrestling’s audience.  I could see some schmo from West Virginia getting into the ring and acting exactly the same.  He allowed us into the arena of people like Brett “The Hitman” Hart, who was so “mod” that he wore “Jubilee” style sun glasses throughout his career.  He wrangled with Randy Savage –“Macho Man”!  But, Jim was just Jim.  He was some lovable lug, with a beer belly and a penchant for carpentry and carpentry material.

I was like Jim growing up.  I loved the United States so much .  My parents hadn’t broken me in, yet.  I loved carpentry.  I feel I’m naturally slated for that.  And, I loved underdogs.  I felt like one.  He was one.  He never really won anything.  But, he was always in the mix.

It was nice to see some out-of-shape guy go to work on people who clearly cared too much about their bodies.  He was All-American.  I wanted to be All-American.  He was essentially, Jim Duggan the Cable Guy starring in Delta Farce.  Much like Larry the Cable Guy, Jim wasn’t so over the top to begin with.  He was run of the mill guy within some lame-o tag team, but he, and the WWF, quickly realized that he needed to do more.  He needed to get himself out there and push for the minds of people who just loved America and hated muscles.

In a sense, I miss the WWE.  I don’t ever catch it.  I might see a re-run in Spanish on Telelmundo, but I never actively seek it out.  Football and soccer have overtaken my spectator sports life.  It seems like MMA is taking its market share recently.  It’s so brutal.  You can’t help but watch.  The one thing that the WWE will always have over UFC or WEC is that these guys have personality.  They have pizazz.  They have the acting bug, but also have the faces and bodies of henchmen.  They are fun to listen and watch.  Listen to Kimbo Slice speak and tell me you’re not terrified that he might be in your city soon.  Listen to Triple H speak and you might want to sit down and have a beer with him.  As menacing as he might try to seem, he’s just putting on an act.  He’s wearing a suit.  Shit, he can’t be serious.

I just wrote a post about fucking wresting…

I can’t be serious,

Dago

Friends

Not the buddies I'm talking about, but I'm glad Disney allowed one female in the crew. It seems so balanced now. Still adorable, despite the sexism.
Not the buddies I'm talking about, but I'm glad Disney allowed one female in the crew. It seems so balanced now. Still adorable, despite the sexism.

Friendships are fucking weird. I’m not saying they’re weird in a bad way. In fact, it might be the only thing that keeps us sane. Think about it. Where would you be without your friends?

More importantly, who would we be without our friends? If it weren’t for my friends Jason and Tim, whom I’ve known since 7th grade, I wouldn’t be the same today. Together we formed our senses of humor, our tastes and our overall demeanor. We always bounced ideas off of each other in regards to music (we were in bands together), relationships, the appropriate time to make AIDS jokes, etc. I will be forever indebted to them for everything they ever did for me. Although, I don’t talk to them as much as I wish, they are still always there in my mind. Friends do that to you. No matter what stupid, sweet things you ever do with your partner it’ll never surpass that prank you pulled during the Ravens-Giants Super Bowl. I always laugh at the IDEA of predictive text. I still sometimes refer to Jason as “jarmo”. The experiences that you share will never go away. That’s how it is with childhood friends, I guess. I know I’ll never have that again. I’m not at all sad about that.

We spent hours and hours together every day for years, and it was hard going to college and having to find new friends. It honestly took me until senior year of college and after graduation to find people I was comfortable enough to be really friends with. I’m blessed to have really great friends in Austin. Truth be told, they’re probably the biggest reason I don’t leave. I’m afraid that lightening can’t strike twice and it’ll take me another 4 years to find people I can confide in and who will call me “gay” on the reg (If you click that link, read definition 3. Will changed that).

With this influx of outsiders trying to burrow their little lives into South Austin you find a lot people having trouble making friends. I feel bad for them. Outside of school and work, it’s hard to find people to befriend. In a world full of douchebags, myself included, you’re always rolling the dice when meeting someone new. Running the risk of sounding like Forrest Gump, you never know what you’re going to get. You might meet some D’n’Der who loves to talk about their favorite Viking Metal band. You might need some dude-brah with a new fucking haircut. You might find someone with the answers to why we all must cry.

Some of my all-time partnerships:

  • PB&J – I don’t like Peanut Butter, but I won’t deny its contribution to society or all-together catchiness.
  • Paul McCartney and Wings – Let’s not kid ourselves. When the Wings Remasters come out it’ll be a bigger deal than this trend the world is following called The Beatles. I refer to The Beatles as the Jackson 5 of Paul McCartney’s career, except The Beatles didn’t make Paul a sexual deviant… Or maybe it did. Who knows? “Maybe, I’m amazed at how OVERRATED MY OLD BAND WAS!”
  • Tango & Cash – Grew up knowing that a true friend was one that went into a compound with you and blew up a warehouse full of baddies.
  • Bert & Ernie – We know they were more than friends, but we look past that.
  • Arthur & Buster – Ultimate ace-wingman situation.
  • Guns & Alcohol – This is purely for the selfish reason of natural selection. All hail West Virginia!
  • Rick James & Eddie Murphy – They only knew girls who liked to party all the time.

I feel like I should branch out more. I should meet more people. On the other hand, I’m really lazy and I love my friends already.

Does anyone have an awesome duo they’d like to share?

———————

Anyway, I’m really excited about a few new albums, and you should be too. Next week it’s Paramore! I know what you’re going to say, “Dago, u r a t0tallie br00t4l d3wd! wut r u doin listenen 2 PARAMORZ?!” Those of you who really know me know I love pop punk with all mi corazon. That album comes out next week and I’m getting psyched. Here’s their new video.

The Fall of Troy’s new album (October 6) is getting me so hyped. I fell in love with these guys in ’07 when seeing Coheed at Waterloo Park. Coheed was awesome, but these guys totally stole the show for me. A lot of people might know them from playing their song “F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X.” on Guitar Hero III. :) Anyway, this is one of their new songs.

Finally, Between the Buried and Me is following up their masterpiece Colors with The Great Misdirect (Oct. 27). It’s a tie between these guys and The Mars Volta for my favorite band. These guys tear faces off and feast on the young of the vanquished. SO AWESOME.

This is going to be a great month. Thursday is coming with The Fall of Troy and The Dear Hunter in October.

Anyone wanna go?!

DAGO

PS: Chelsea laid into Tottenham and have secured first. The Texans went to work on Tennessee and ensured that I can hold my head up high for at least a week. Life is really good. :D

Konkurrenz

I use stereotypes because they're funny... "Hey, welcome to West Campus! Here's your red cup! Wanna talk about who's dad owns the biggest dealership!? Rad."
I use stereotypes because they're funny... "Hey, welcome to West Campus! Here's your red cup! Wanna talk about who's dad owns the biggest dealership!? Rad."

My earliest experience with competition occurred in school.  In second grade, I remember all the kids racing to the farthest line of trees that surrounded the grounds of Sutton Elementary.  I remember coming in fourth one day.   I know that’s hard to believe… I thought that was pretty bad ass, but I felt like I could do better. I never did.

My parents always pushed me academically.  Wait, let me correct that.  My parents always threatened me to do well academically.  I was always afraid something awful would happen if I didn’t get good grades.  An ass-whoopin’ is a really great motivational tool.  I’ll never be convinced otherwise.

The elementary school I first went to tried to force me into the bilingual class because I spoke Spanish at home.  Little did they know, my English was just as good as my Spanish.  Amazed by this English-speaking Mexican (I’m Salvadorian), they put me, the noble savage, in the Gifted and Talented class.  My parents never let me forget this.  They kind of felt insulted by the school’s stubborn attitude toward putting me in a G&T classroom.  It took a lot of convincing.  So, for years, my parents would always ask me two questions concerning school:

“How are you doing in school?” AND “How are you doing in school compared to the white kids?”

Funnily enough, they never bothered asking about the Asian kids because they recognized I had no chance.  I always thought it was odd that my parents asked me how I did in school compared to white kids.  My parents were well aware of my class’s demographic composition.  From what I can remember, I was the only power-beaner in there, and there was only one black kid too.  I guess they wanted to make sure I was alright with my situation. This being the case, my classes from Pre-K-12 were nearly entirely white.  Anyone who went to school with me can attest to that.

I’ve never hated white people.  I just needed to be better or just as good as them to appease my parents in a strange, confusing and roundabout way and therefore, make myself feel at ease.

I know to anyone who isn’t a minority, this sounds crazy, but it’s a problem most ethnic-minorities face, regardless of what society we’re talking about.  When you’re the only one of your “kind” around, you feel like you’re under a microscope.  Even if that isn’t always the case, you can’t help but feel marginalized.  Some people can’t handle that sort of pressure, and it affects them adversely through life.  I punch that sort of pressure in the fucking face.

My entire scholarly career was a competition against an invisible foe.  There were no villains.  There were no Shooter McGavins.   There was only me, and this impossible obstacle I had to overcome, and that was my race.

In high school, it stopped being about race and my need to be the best just included everyone.  I was the worst.  I always tried to one-up and have the last word.  It affected me socially because I couldn’t just shut the fuck up and listen to anyone.

In college, I quickly found out that no one cared.  College is an exceptionally self-centered time.  Except for a majority of prep school kids, nothing you did really mattered to people as long as you got your shit done and you weren’t a douche.  That sort of freedom finally allowed me to relax, and take my identity into consideration more that I had ever done.  And now, I don’t feel like there’s some force I’m fighting against anymore.  I don’t feel like there’s an opposition, but merely circumstances and obstacles that we communally face.  That’s pretty rad.

However, there is always something that brings back that interpersonal competitive fire.  Someone says or does something that makes you say, “Alright, fuck face.  If you want to make this happen, we can make this happen, but I can’t promise that your feelings won’t get hurt, and you ass won’t be sore.” Examples of competition-inducing actions are:

Competition is healthy.  I’m still very competitive, but only with myself and the goals that I have set for my life.  I feel that so many of us live in this world where everyone is trying to be the hippest, strongest, holiest or smartest for the wrong reasons.  We’ll never be happy unless we understand that we shouldn’t do these things because of what people will think about us.  We should do things because we care enough about ourselves to do meaningful shit with our lives.

South Austin seems to be crawling with these sort of people.  It’s hard to not fall into a, and I quote, “dick-measuring contest” with people.  I’m trying to be strong because I know, no matter who wins a little spat over who’s cooler, both parties are still assholes.

I’m just stating the obvious,

Dago

PS: Britt and I started a soccer blog. It’s about the EPL. So, all you guys who think that La Liga or heaven forbid, Serie A is better, just ignore the link below or in the Blog Roll. http://straightredtalk.wordpress.com/

Thanks for reading! I love you all.

Phase Three: Profit

"Alright, I'm going to give you the option to vote which one of you gets thrown away. I'm not going to lie to you Tiger Sock, it doesn't look good for you"
"Alright, I'm going to give you the option to vote which one of you gets thrown away. I'm not going to lie to you Tiger Sock, it doesn't look good for you"

This afternoon, I walked into my kitchen an noticed that my half-full bag of sandwich bread was missing.  Luckily, I found it in the refrigerator.  I know that some people do that on purpose (But, really, who?). I felt so stupid.

I made sandwiches this morning, and my mouth-breathing ass left it in there.  I hate how something stupid, like misplacing something inane like a loaf of bread or a child, can make you feel.

When I do laundry, there always seems to be a lonely sock.  I always feel bad for it.  He essentially lost his date to the Dago’s Dresser Drawer Dance.  Sometimes, we can avoid the entire lonely sock situation. I’ll get super lucky and just lose two socks from two different pairs that look similar enough that I can pair them up.  Instead of going stag, the socks can keep each other company during a difficult time, like when two friends go to prom together.  However, you do feel for the socks that are out there all alone in the cold and rain.  What could be going on with them? WHY HAVE THEY GONE?!

It doesn’t just stop at socks.  I’ve misplaced guitars, amps and other semi-important things.  However, these situations do provide us with moments to redeem ourselves. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something awesome when you are looking for your copy of NFL Football ’95 Starring Joe Montana for Sega Genesis.  Perhaps, you’ll find your VHS copy of Wild Things, en Español.  Kevin Bacon is ten times the actor in dubbed over Spanish.  Maybe that late-1990s era Darth Vader Replica Lightsaber will come in handy for your Jedi Training or for when you throw a Star Wars/Eyes Wide Shut-themed party. Maybe some day someone will give a shit that you have a signed Warped Tour ticket from the lead singer/pianist of Something Corporate.

Whatever the case may be, I think, like a lot of people I’m sure, I just find excuses to beat myself up about something.  I’m reminded daily of how self-confidence is a luxury, and the smallest things can make you realize how down on yourself you can really get for the dumbest reasons.  It’s the “Oh, gosh, can I get anything right?” feeling, that I get all the time.  It’s important to just step back and realize, in any situation, that you’re the shit and if anyone tells you any different, you have to verbally or physically bitch slap them ’cause you’re a fucking winner.

Now go find my socks,

Dago

PS: Sorry, if this post is really weird and sucky. I feel kind of awful, and sick. I made a commitment to post once a week, at least, and goddammit, I’m doing it. Thanks for reading, y’all.

Going out.

We meet again, Gort.  I certainly hope you brought your dancing shoes, bitch.
We meet again, Gort. I certainly hope you brought your dancing shoes, bitch.

The joke is, “There are only two certainties in life, death and taxes.”  It’s a stupid joke, mostly told by old Republicans, but it’s entirely true.  We’re all going to die.  What’s important is how we do it.  I’m not the first person to say this and I won’t be the last, but I’m not going out like no bitch.  If there’s a global war with Neo-Nazi zombies sent from space to invade Earth and they happen to stumble into South Austin, those undead mother fuckers better watch out, because this guy ain’t going out like no punk-ass mark, ya heard?  If this were December 8, 1941, I would be suiting up to punch some Japs in the face for good old Uncle Sam, regardless of whether or not Ken Burns would mention me in his documentary about America at war or not.  America doesn’t go out like no pussy, and I don’t either.

I want to go out fighting like 19 ninjas.  I’d kill 18, and the 19th one turns into a 30-foot robot that shoots lasers out of its eyes.  After a 3-hour battle which involves Megan Fox, the “Most Interesting Man in the World” and Harrison Ford in some way, I get taken out by the robot.  After completing its mission of killing me, the robot self-destructs and blows up a chunk of South Congress, preferably where those new SoCo Lofts are or those stupid trailers set up shop.  In the aftermath, I want there to be a song written about me like “Candle in the Wind” or something just legit as fuck like “Crossroads“, and have it written by Francis Scott Key’s distant nephew Steve. (I miss my Uncle Charles, y’all!)

Anyway, I really don’t have many specific goals for my life.  I just want to get my PhD, teach and be happy.  I think it’ll work itself out from there.  There is, however, one goal that I have to follow through on, and that is not to get lamed, pwnd, pwnt, owned, lolled or rofled in a manner that would be stupid and totally my n00bish fault.  I seriously don’t want to end up getting a Darwin Award or winding up on the local news getting ridiculed for being found dead after trying to race a train or something.

The Highlander never has to worry about this.  He knows his death will be epic.  He will probably yell something like, “RUN! Save yourself!” [chop]

[head rolls on floor]

[cue sweet lightning and Queen song]

I don’t know why I’m so focused on death.  It might be the whole Caradine-McMahon-Fawcett-Mays sadness going around (No, I’m not at all sad about Michael Jackson).  I don’t think I’m afraid to die.  Knowing that everyone does it makes it seem so much more acceptable.  At least no one is getting a free pass.  All of you are going to die. :P  And that’s okay.  My parents are going to die, and that’s alright.  We all end up in the same place.

I’m just concerned about how much I will miss when I do die.  I will miss out on watching Scientology become the largest religion in the world.  I’m going to miss the rise and fall of Michael Jackson’s Zombie Army.  I will miss Carl Weathers become America’s Third Black President after Obama and Morgan Freeman.  (Everyone from the movie Predator has to hold public office–except for “Billy”, he’s a Native American.)  I’m going to miss the 2 Girls 1 Cup made-for-TV movie produced by Hallmark.  I’m going to miss Perez Hilton… just straight miss him.

I’m going to miss out on a lot of things.

I enjoy life a lot.  As lame as life might seem for a lot of us, there is so much to appreciate.  I never got why Christians are so damn ready to die.  They’re all in such a rush to get to heaven.  Life is already pretty bitchin’.  I just don’t want it to end with me being videotaped and the footage being used in a new Faces of Death video.

On second thought, Faces of Death was pretty sweet,

Dago

Vulgarity

Que putas estas haciendo? Estoy tratando dormir. "Hey, what the fuck are you doing? I'm sleeping here."
Baby Dago only knew Spanish: Que putas estas haciendo? Estoy tratando de dormir.

In 3rd grade I told some kid who was upset about a soccer game during recess to, and I quote, “Stop being a bitch.”  I begged him not to tell the teacher.  As I had accurately predicted, this kid was the penultimate “bitch” and told the teacher.  I thought we were friends.  I guess that bond was broken the second I called him out on his bitchiness.  I’m not bitter.

I couldn’t help it though.  At this point of my life, the parents were in the middle of a divorce, and I was feeling the psychological effects of that–lashing out verbally and physically.  It wasn’t a good place.  Also, my cousin Tony, who my best friends know very well, was charged with taking care of me during this tumultuous period.  Tony was a high-school dropout from Chicago (No worries. He grew up to be a model citizen, and has become my favorite family member).  He grew up around gangs and was a pretty tough kid, from what I can remember.  He would drive my single-digit-aged butt around Sharpstown while we listened to Tupac and Biggie.  I picked up a lot from songs such as “Me and My Bitch”, “C.R.E.A.M.” and other classic gangster rap songs of the time.  One of my fondest memories from childhood was watching BET with Tony.  Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Membrane” was my favorite video.  It was Tony’s too, probably because they were Latinos.  Who knows? Weren’t they beefing with Ice Cube at that time? Off track…

Like most people, I didn’t learn to curse from television or movies.  My mother was the source of my familiarity and comfort with the magical vulgarity of life.  I actually can’t recall a recent conversation with my mother that didn’t involve one of us swearing at someone or something.  She blames it on growing up with seven brothers.  I blame it on her being a bit of a cray-cray.

My favorite mom-ism is her patented hijo de setenta putas which means “son of seventy whores”.  I always tried to throw that one back at my mom with logic, but as I quickly learned, you can’t use such tactics against women, especially Virgos.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to shake the specter of generations of vulgar language in my family.  I can’t go a day without saying a few “fucks”, throwing in a couple of “shits” and maybe topping it off with a “twat” or two.

For a while, I tried to cut back, but I find it really hard to do so.  Swearing just feels right.  One of the few advantages of the English language is the beauty and ease one can relay their dissatisfaction with a professionally strewn tapestry of harsh words.  Sometimes there is no other recourse but to lay into something or someone.  And sometimes, people need to hear how much of a “douchefag” they’re being.

I have the utmost respect for people who do not curse, and double the props for keeping it clean around me (Will, I’m talking to you).

If you can find a better substitute for the word “fuck”, I want to hear it.  I honestly don’t think there’s a better feeling word in our language (double entendre?).

I get some complaints from people about my facebook statuses, tweets and wall postings.  Unfortunately, I’m incredibly comfortable with the way I speak, and if it makes someone uncomfortable, I respect that.  There’s nothing worse than a cockmonger who doesn’t know how to shut his vulgar, sodding mouth.

Flickersticks,

Dago

PS: Send your complaints to me via personal message on facebook or twitter. :)